I stopped watching the news during the financial crisis, but the news had been getting me down long before that. I didn’t want to buy into the overriding feeling of gloom and despondency so I switched off the TV. Far better to think positively and constructively than spend my time worrying and speculating about situations I had no way of influencing.
Of course it’s important to know what’s happening in the world, but I limit my involvement and pick my sources. I receive the news headlines in my inbox every morning and pick out which important and interesting stories to read. What I don’t do is to waste my time swallowing the rubbish put about by scaremongers, sensationalists and gossips.
For most of my adult life I would start the day with the TV news and the newspaper. I often fell asleep watching the news and it would sometimes stay on all night. Not a good idea. What kind of soundtrack does war and conflict make for our dreams?
During the war in Kuwait I watched, horrified, as Sky News broadcast live bombing raids from aircraft. I used to imagine what it must be like to live in one of those towns, hearing the planes fly over and the explosions as the bomb fell, empathising with their fear and panic. The build-up to the ‘conflict’ in Iraq became an obsession. I couldn’t believe it could really happen and I couldn’t switch off, physically or mentally. Worst of all was the attack on the World Trade Centre. It plunged me into a depression. I couldn’t see how anyone could carry on as normal when these things were happening. I thought the world was going to end. It went on for months.
So I switched it off. Before the 24-hour news programmes started broadcasting we knew that bad things happened, but we didn’t get it thrust down our throats day and night. With 24 hours to fill, sensationalist news channels thrive on disasters, tragedy and scandal and force you to confront the worst things in the world every time you watch. Luckily we don’t HAVE to watch the Twin Towers collapse over and over again or see the gory road accidents that the Spanish media are so fond of broadcasting. Remember, you control the remote, not the other way around!