Monday, June 08, 2009

Taking a break from the news or avoiding reality?

During the week I make it a point to keep up to date on the news. I read a newspaper on the train; I have another delivered at home. During the day I frequently go online to check both traditional (i.e., "dead tree") news sites and news blogs. At night, as I've mentioned, I watch newscasts on at least two different TV channels. I try to keep informed.

The last couple of weekends, though, I haven't read much of anything in the paper or online other than the comics. My wife found a baseball trivia article in Parade Magazine yesterday, and she quizzed me on it, and I read a column or two, but no more than that.

It has not been an intentional boycott. But I've begun to feel close to information overload by the end of the week, and I seem to be reacting instinctively. I find myself catching up on Monday mornings to all the disasters of the preceding weekend.

It seems that mayhem, violence and destruction, war, famine and pestilence are all perfectly capable of proceeding without my monitoring them. I'm beginning to wonder if I should let all these unhappy events swirl on without me. Can a responsible modern person 'take a break' from the news -- or is this an unhealthy effort to further avoid reality?

What do you think? Do you ever purposely avoid the news?


The Beach Bum said...

Curmudgeon -

I check the online versions of the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and St. Petersburg Times on a daily basis.

On rare occasions I will watch the news on television.

I get the hard copy newspapers on the weekends.

I avoid reading the Front Page stories. In most cases they make my stomach upset.

I stick to the editorials (OP/ED Page), the Sports section, the comics and the local news.

I am discriminating about the news that I read and I avoid reading the news that will get my dander up.

The Beach Bum

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

well i'd certainly LIKE to but in this house foxnews is pretty much on all the time. that is unless my housewives of whatever place is on and i holler for it! ha ha

smiles, bee

Cathy said...

I avoid it every chance I have. But, I love fox news and it's on here whenever the food network isn't. I had a grandfather who read every word in the local newspaper every single day. EVERY WORD.

I no longer get a newspaper at home so whatever I get is from Fox or online. I do read a lot of it online. But, I know I am slipping from reality. I would much rather read about new recipes and then go try them out. Someone else can keep track of news. I think you deserve it a break from it on the weekends too.

Steve Skinner said...

I read the daily paper and check out Google news during the week but pretty much avoid all sources on the weekend. Too much news is bad for your health!

sari said...

Before my third was born, I got the paper every day and read it every day. After he was born, I realized that I just couldn't do everything I needed to do and still get the paper read. I didn't have that extra hour to myself that I had before, so we stopped taking the paper.

I always figured eventually I would start it up again but he's 18 months old and still no desire to do it. I check things online but really haven't found a great news outlet that I like.