My boyfriend and I stopped watching the news about 5 months ago.
It was June, and I was just about to start a new job, which meant that our morning schedule was about to become a little more lax and a lot less chaotic. No more racing the clock to combat the traffic driving into Nashville or even Franklin; I only had to worry about an 8 minute commute on the winding back roads of Williamson County.
It’s not that we didn’t care about what was happening in the world. It’s not that we didn’t have the attention span to understand or process the information. And it’s not that we were trying to pretend that reality wasn’t real.
It’s simply that it was making us sad. It was making us angry and anxious. We were starting our mornings on a negative note every. single. day. It was a shooting. It was a local robbery in a good part of town. It was government officials stepping down or being fired. It was child abductions. It was natural disasters. And it was the sound of Trump’s voice, saying the same old rhetoric. It was never just a report – it was days of obsession over the same tragic events that weren’t being stopped.
It was TOO MUCH.
So we took a step back. In June, it was nice to sit out on our patio while we drank our coffee and listened to the independent playlist of Lightning 100. When the bugs came out, we’d stay inside and work our way through every episode of Bob’s Burgers. And now that it’s cold, it’s practically necessary to huddle around the fireplace while we drink our Candy Cane French Press coffee (oh my gooodddddd it’s the best).
It’s enough to start your morning knowing what’s ahead of you – whether it’s emails, phone calls, crazy customers or impossible car wiring. But when you add on top of that the increasing unrest of the entire world (and the fact that we have the worst possible representation standing at the head of every press conference about it), it’s too much to handle. It’s enough taking care of ourselves; waking up with the burden of a nation is more than I’d like to handle.
To take a moment in the morning to yourself, to happiness, to joy…that is so much more rewarding than a bunch of bad news separated by nasty political ads.
I mean, I’ll be honest and admit I’m all for most of what the “fake news” is saying about our administration. It reaffirms my political beliefs and makes me passionate about being a citizen and having my own opinions. But that doesn’t mean I want to listen to it all the time.
I still find a way to know what’s going on in the world – because no one can be completely immune to what’s really going on. And they shouldn’t be. But it’s nice to go about my day just focusing on getting through my day, without having to be reminded of the fact that a shooter could show up at the mall, the movie theater, or our local bar. Living in fear does a body no good. I’ve had instances where I’ve been out in public and become paralyzed by the realization that I could die if that one suspicious looking guy over there has more than a laptop in that big backpack of his. And that’s no way to live, because usually – 100% of the time in my lucky case – nothing is ever wrong. But I can ruin 2 hours in a dark movie theater worrying about it. Which, when you think about it, is the same thing you do watching CNN in the morning.
I’m not saying we should be ignorant. I’m not saying I don’t grieve for every life lost and that I haven’t shed tears over the news I’ve heard. I’m not saying that great action doesn’t still need to be taken in dealing with opioid addictions and gun violence and racial prejudice. But, just like writing in a Gratitude Journal before you get out of bed or doing some yoga before you get dressed, it’s best to start your day on a note that works for you. We’ve got to stay positive – we’ve got to believe in a better world.
When I tell people we’ve given up on the news, they can’t believe it. They’re jealous, congratulatory, even. I can’t say that it’s eliminated all our worries for the country, but it has been nice to get through a midterm election season feeling like we haven’t been completely inundated by all the negative press. Just some of it because, well, technology. But then we go vote and we see some change and we hope for a better future. That’s the only way we can truly overcome it all.