You were never actually accomplishing anything by watching the news

If you ask someone what they accomplish by watching the news, you’ll hear vague notions like, “It’s our civic duty to stay informed!” or “I need to know what’s going on in the world,” or “We can’t just ignore these issues,” none of which answer the question.

“Being informed” sounds like an accomplishment, but it implies that any information will do. You can become informed by reading a bus schedule.

A month after you’ve quit the news, it’s hard to name anything useful that’s been lost. It becomes clear that those years of news-watching amounted to virtually nothing in terms of improvement to your quality of life, lasting knowledge, or your ability to help others. And that’s to say nothing of the opportunity cost. Imagine if you spent that time learning a language, or reading books and essays about some of the issues they mention on the news.

You’ll find that your abstinence did not result in any worse cabinet appointments than were already being made, and that disaster relief efforts carried on without your involvement, just as they always do. As it turns out, your hobby of monitoring the “state of the world” did not actually affect the world.

We have inherited from somewhere—maybe from the era when there was only an hour of news available a day—the belief that having a superficial awareness of the day’s most popular issues is somehow helpful to those most affected by them.


Folksonomies: productivity current events prioritization

/business and industrial (0.577347)
/hobbies and interests/reading (0.525212)
/art and entertainment/music/singing (0.390513)

hear vague notions (0.943937 (negative:-0.270621)), worse cabinet appointments (0.836332 (negative:-0.525592)), disaster relief efforts (0.812636 (negative:-0.474662)), civic duty (0.682165 (neutral:0.000000)), news (0.675212 (negative:-0.625465)), bus schedule (0.660208 (positive:0.526725)), superficial awareness (0.650467 (negative:-0.625465)), opportunity cost (0.645068 (negative:-0.334735)), popular issues (0.610198 (negative:-0.625464)), world (0.536483 (negative:-0.344100)), accomplishment (0.474359 (positive:0.519494)), abstinence (0.457079 (negative:-0.525592)), question (0.454002 (negative:-0.638134)), information (0.452002 (neutral:0.000000)), terms (0.446974 (positive:0.613330)), quality (0.446883 (positive:0.613330)), belief (0.446879 (negative:-0.625465)), life (0.446846 (positive:0.613330)), involvement (0.446834 (negative:-0.474662)), knowledge (0.446791 (positive:0.588890)), improvement (0.446541 (positive:0.613330)), ability (0.446430 (positive:0.514780)), era (0.445603 (negative:-0.625464)), time (0.445368 (neutral:0.000000)), language (0.445314 (neutral:0.000000)), books (0.445242 (neutral:0.000000))

Economics (0.916087): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News
Electronic/World Wide Web>Blog:  Cain, David (December 2016), Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News, Retrieved on 2016-12-29
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  • Folksonomies: productivity current events prioritization


    17 JAN 2018


    Memes on becoming a producer rather than consumer.
    Folksonomies: productivity
    Folksonomies: productivity