This Is Your Brain On News

I don’t watch the news.

I don’t read the newspaper.

Not because I don’t have time.

But because I don’t have an unlimited supply of soul for them to suck out.

You see, here’s what’s REALLY happening when you watch the news:

First, an army of journalists leverage the power of web-based networks to dig up stories most likely to nail your eyeballs to the page or screen.

Given that humans are wired to pay far more attention to BAD news than good news, that means these journalists show you the most hair-raising, toe-curling, depraved, taboo-ladled, anxiety-producing stories they can find.

As a result, you’d never know that by almost every OBJECTIVE measure of human flourishing, such as increased lifespan, lower infant mortality rates, and lower incidence of disease, the quality of life on earth has never been better.

That shit you hear about on the news that makes you feel like the world is going to hell in a hand-basket has been happening for thousands and thousands of years. Media just wasn’t as efficient at collecting it all and pipping it into your living room as they are now.

It’s mind boggling. Due to the intrinsic financial incentive journalists have to broadcast the nastiest content possible, as now enabled with more efficiency than ever before due to massively connected news networks, this one industry has single-handedly created a pall over the entire populace.

Billions of people walk around viewing the world through shit-tinted glasses so one lousy industry can keep their jobs.

It would be criminal, if not for one little thing:

No one’s holding your face to the screen.

Tens of thousands of desperate journalists want to pipe their jacked up, reality-skewing effluent into your living room so they can sell ads.

YOU get to choose whether you open the spigot or shut it off.

YOU have the choice of whether or not to let that poison into your heart.

Now I’m not suggesting you stick your head in the sand and tune out the world.

I’m saying when you open yourself to outside influence, you need to do so critically, and guard your mind.

Before you mindlessly turn on the news channel or click on that WTF news story link in your Facebook feed, ask yourself:

Will this story give me useful, ACTIONABLE information, or just leave me feeling anxious and helpless?

What is the true cost I pay by consuming this media? And is it really worth it?

Better yet, quit all news media cold turkey for a week, starting now, and see how you feel.

Chances are, you won’t miss it for a second.

And even if you do, you’ll find the regained sense of power and positivity you gain in exchange is well worth the sacrifice.

You might even find you suddenly have the head-space and heart required to create something amazing.

Something that actually brings joy, love, and laughter into the world, instead of the usual six o’clock dose of fear and anxiety.

Imagine that.

Happy detoxing.

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