Wednesday, June 5, 2019

News Cycle Fatigue

I recently took a week hiatus from the news. I was on a week of overnights, and the work- sleep- give kids dinner- back to work cycle didn't leave much time for CNN, Instagram, Facebook, the Times app, or other sources of the often depressing news cycle. And I was so much happier. I felt more present, more clear minded.

Do we have an obligation to be immersed in the greater world around us? In the presidential turmoil, the awful treatment of individuals in desperate situations, the lack of autonomy for an entire gender, the horror stories of workplace violence and very public child abuse? I used to think it was a social responsibility to stay informed and maintain that knowledge; but after the inadvertent hiatus, I realized that the lack of external negativity and stress made me a more complete, positive, and happier person.

So now I feel conflicted. I want to discuss the events of the world with my children, husband, colleagues. But there is a simplicity of staying within my own little bubble that is increasingly appealing. How do you grapple with the two?


  1. YES -- this! For years, NPR was the soundtrack to my life, but lately, I've found the news to be incendiary, unhelpful, and demoralizing. I've started to listen to podcasts in the morning getting ready, classical music in my car, and albums or Pandora at home in the evenings. I worried that I might feel guilty for being less informed, but I actually feel great.

    1. exactly! i listen to more country radio and ESPN now than I have ever before. I think I may continue this news detox for a while.

  2. I stopped listening to NPR during the 1990s-era battle over health care reform because it was so depressing. We never watch TV news. I read the New York Times and the Washington Post online when I have time. I do research before I vote, especially locally, and I think I'm well enough informed and much calmer than I would be otherwise. I listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks in the car and I watch a lot of HGTV.

  3. We don’t actively consume news, but we get some passively. I also stopped listening to NPR (and watching much TV for that matter) when I had my daughter 3 years ago. I no longer had the time or mental space for it. No regrets.


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