10 Reasons To NOT Watch The News

A while ago I read the book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television which really inspired this article. Why do we trade our time for pseudo news, which is really entertainment? If you think about it, we're "in a sense" prostitutes. One definition of the term says: "To sell (oneself or one's talent, for example) for an unworthy purpose." In this sense prostitute doesn't only mean a woman selling a sex act but it could be that we are selling our time for entertainment, under the guise of "seeing what's going on in the world."

I'd like to share my top 10 list of reasons why to avoid watching the news on T.V. I do watch some T.V. I'm a big basketball fan but I really try to limit watching television in general. If I do watch T.V., I'd rather watch almost anything else, rather than the news. So, here is my top 10 list of reasons to avoid the network news at all costs.

10. Watching the news causes us to become less creative.
Watching the news takes us away from time we could spend actually tuning into our creative passions. The news is designed to be entertainment and as such, is designed to shock and polarize people. We end up wasting all our creative energy focusing unnecessary time on what they're feeding us as news.

9. Watching the news causes us to become more negative.
Try it sometime. Watch the local or national news every day or night for 30 days and see if it changes your ideas about human nature. In this experiment you should write down each news story and see how many are positive and how many are negative. Can you notice anything about the order in which the stories are told? Can you see any relation to the commercials, the order of the commercials or which news anchor tells which stories? After a full month of watching your local "programs" see if you're generally happier or more depressed about the state of the world. People who watch too much news end up doing just that, watching news instead of creating news.

8. By watching the news we get a distorted view of what really is the news.
Think about it. Is that which is on T.V. really the news? How many thousands of stories never get told? When was the last time you heard the real reason why oil prices went up? Or what is happening in South Africa? Why don't we hear about this? We won’t hear about that story because it either doesn't sell, or it would conflict politically with affiliated businesses and politics that are connected to that station's parent company.

7. Watching the news causes us to use more generalizations.
When we generalize it's easy to put everybody into one category. (Note: I do realize that in order to get this point across I need to generalize what happens to “all people” when “they” watch the news.) The way to grow is to make finer and finer distinctions. Something that is talked about in the Rich Dad Poor Dad series. For example the news might report a study on women, or homosexuals or any other group of people. Then it takes the results of that study and extrapolates them onto an entire group of people. And before we even have a chance to think or challenge those results what happens? Bam, just like that they're on to the local story of a lost dog. Then that story stays with us in our subconscious and we never get around to resolving it because we're too busy. Just like that, you’ve been programmed. We all have been programmed. By putting people into pre-programmed and stereotyped boxes, we can then label that box based on your prejudices and that's the easy way out. You don't have to think as much.

6. Watching the news causes you to become less conscious.
When watching T.V. our brain activity decreases and we go into a somewhat catatonic state. That's why we can watch the news for an entire segment and not even blink. It's actually scary. If you wanted to program the country how would you do it? You would program us through T.V. of course. And you wouldn’t even have to manipulate people to try to get them to be programmed. They'll willingly accept your medicine.

5. Watching the news causes us to identify "news", with personalities.
People watch the news because they like the delivery style, personality or even the looks of their favorite newscasters. We want to see what they're wearing and how they look. It's amazing how wrapped up we get with our newscasters and meteorologists. Think back to a prominent news story, maybe it was the newscast of when O.J. Simpson was acquitted or perhaps it was 911 we always remember the newscaster describing the story or the station where we watched it.

4. Watching the news effects us even when we're not watching it.
Whether we like it or not, the news can affect how we think of certain issues even when we're not in front of the television. Let's set an example. Let's say you watch a lot of news as an American. Somebody cuts you off on the freeway that fits a profile of a group of people that you do not like. What are the chances that the reasons you don't like that particular group of people is because of how they are portrayed on the news or television? Now you're acting in a programmed way. The news loves you.

3. Watching the news takes us away from our families.
Let's face it; there are only a finite amount of hours in the day. Why spend it watching the news or even some TV show rather than spending it with your family. At the end of your life will you remember time spent cultivating a strong family, or watching a story about how Joe shot Bob down at the corner market? We're better than that.

2. Watching the news takes away from becoming a better human being.
How much time have you spent building disciplines? Perhaps you want to read more, go to the gym or even go for a run. Maybe you want to learn some new skill or language. We can't become a better person by watching a story about why Paris Hilton got pulled over last night by the police. Time is more valuable than money. Money can be made, lost and made again. Once time is gone, it's gone forever. Let's not willingly give our most precious resource: time, to some company that just wants us to become less and less each day.

1. Watching the news is a waste of time and takes away from the impact we could be having in the world.
I alluded to time in #2. Perhaps you find this article interesting, or perhaps you don't agree with a word I am saying. But at least it got you thinking right? That’s more than I can say about watching the news. And not only that, but I couldn't have been able to get you to think about these things if I were watching the news right now could I? Imagine if you could add up all the hours spent over the course of your life watching just T.V. How many days, weeks or months do you think that adds up to? You'll never be able to get that back. It's gone forever. What could you have done with all that time? How could you have been a better person if you had used that time to spend with your family, reading a book or studying something interesting like raw food nutrition or anything else that interests you? There are so many things to accomplish in the world, let's spend our time more wisely and not give it away so freely to any news channel that asks.

Here is a another really good book on this subject:
How to Watch TV News

A fun video to end on a light note...

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