10 Reasons Why Watching The News Is Bad For You.

Are you someone who regularly keeps up with the news? Do you believe it’s an integral part of your routine? If so, has your life changed for the better? Have you ever thought about why watching the news is bad for you? These are all valid questions to ask when getting the right sources for information.

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Why watching the news is bad for you?

Let me be clear with one thing: There’s nothing wrong or illegal with watching the news. One point I’ll make is how you take the information in and make the right conclusions. In other words, is what you observe factual and valuable? Do you question what you view and do your research?

How the media affects us as a society

Why watching the news is bad for you- Read all about it

How the media presents information to large audiences can help change views on specific subjects. Whether it’s on war or how the financial system operates, they can significantly influence the public. For better or worse, it can change the way how people their daily routines.

The most recent example is the COVID-19 outbreak that peaked in 2020. The media’s narrative is that a deadly virus was spreading and killing many people. While the official numbers are questionable (regarding cases and death count), there are plenty of questions that need to be answered about the correct response. So far, people have made many irrational decisions based on what was presented by the media.

Why watching the news is bad for you? 10 reasons 

It makes you anxious and fearful.

One reason for watching the news is to see if there was a harmful event that might affect peoples’ lives. That’s the case sometimes, and it can turn out to be negative. That’s a massive problem with media coverage today: most news coverage is all negative stories. When we’re exposed to adverse reports, we may get concerned and even fearful about them.

In some cases, being exposed to negative news coverage can make us fearful of our livelihoods. How does a story affect us personally? Can something wrong happen to you? Maybe, but it’s not always the case. 

At that point, you may be coming up with scenarios that may never take place. Especially if the news coverage may be out of context, it’s unnecessary to worry about those bad situations.

News is mostly propaganda.

Why watching the news is bad for you- Propaganda photos

Much of what I’ve seen over the last decade is false and misleading information. One term that I have a better understanding of is propaganda, an approach to influencing people to believe in a particular viewpoint. According to Wikipedia, propaganda means the following:

“…communication that is primarily used to influence an audience and further an agenda, which may not be objective and may be selectively presenting facts in order to encourage a particular synthesis or perception…”

-Wikipedia

In today’s news environment, propaganda can be anywhere across significant tv networks. Different viewpoints are mostly one-sided. Here’s a quick breakdown of the top three cable news networks:

  • CNN: establishment news outlook, neutrality bias; favors both sides (i.e., 50/50 on opinions)
  • MSNBC: mostly favors the Democratic party and their viewpoints
  • Fox News: mostly favors the Republican party and their viewpoints

For the general news networks, their news coverage is mostly pro-establishment and favors the status quo. Whether it’s CBS, NBC, or ABC, these news networks fall in line with typical propaganda that favors governments. 

Of course, other news networks are considered to be one-sided as well. Whether one organization is on the left or right or favors one country over the other, those news organizations promote propaganda as well. So there’s propaganda across the entire spectrum of media coverage. It’s been like that for a long time, and it’ll continue to do so.

The news paints a different view of society.

Often, what you view on the news is not the most accurate picture of the world. When news networks tell their audiences that the world is worse off than ever before, something sounds fishy. For example, people hate each other and disagree on many things. Or that people, in general, are not as cooperative as they use to be.

When you get that type of message drilled into your head, you might as well be living a lie. The world is not as bad as reported to be. Maybe it’s not significant; however, some parts of the world have gotten better. You never know what’s happening on the other side of the world. You have to look for yourself before confirming what you’ve been told.

The news acts mostly like fiction (not reality).

Why watching the news is bad for you- Fiction books

When there are major news stories (such as scandals), they may not always be accurate. Some things are taken out of context and spun in another circle. It’s another version that people don’t see being factual at all.

Here are a couple of examples in recent years:

  • The 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq: The government and the media claimed that Saddam Hussein had so-called “weapons of mass destruction.” They said if the U.S. government did not remove Hussein from power, he would use nuclear weapons to blow up the world. It’s been refuted and confirmed that it was never the case. Later on in the Iraq war, some new networks (such as Fox News) reported that things were going smoothly in Iraq. However, other media outlets were reporting ongoing chaos and violence in some parts of the country. So there are conflicting views about the real story in Iraq.
  • Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election: This issue still is a hot topic, and those who support it don’t want to give up. The media consistently pushed this narrative that Russia helped Donald Trump win the 2016 election. However, a lot of those claims turned out to be false once the Mueller Report was published. It’s one example of media malpractice and dishonest news coverage.

News networks care about making money-not about informing you.

For the most part, news networks want to make money no matter what. The more eyeballs on the TV screen, the more money they make. Like any other corporation or business, these news outlets are in the business of profiting from their viewers.

Rather than watch the news, why not use that valuable time to learn a new skill? Learn something new that can increase your potential (personal and professional). Whether it’s a career transition or a new hobby, it’s something that helps you move in the right direction.

-Eric T. Seil

Not being informed at all- different sides and opinionated.

Most news networks don’t aim to inform their audience on the real issues. Most of the time, they work for corporations or governments to promote a specific agenda. It’s why some news networks appear to be one-sided when explaining the issues at stake. Instead of informing the public, the media is in line with those in power or influence society.

Most of the news is negative: Good news= Bad news.

Why watching the news is bad for you- Computer Black Friday

If you’ve watched the news for a long time, you may notice a pattern of it being negative all the time. Whenever I watch a news segment, it’s nothing but something terrible and negative that happened. So bad news tends to be good news for the news networks.

If the news was always positive, then watching the news would be pointless. Good news should always be welcoming but tends to be boring for people to watch. So if that were the case, no one would bother watching the news at all.

Massive waste of time: Why not do something better?

Watching the news can be a significant timewaster for most people. If you’re not getting value from what you’re viewing, it’s time to turn off the tv. There are much better things to do than watching tv.

Rather than watch the news, why not use that valuable time to learn a new skill? Learn something new that can increase your potential (personal and professional). Whether it’s a career transition or a new hobby, it’s something that helps you move in the right direction. Even if it’s for 10-30 minutes a day, you’re putting yourself in a better position than you are now.

The internet has more accurate information.

Though the internet is far from perfect, you can find more precise information than through mainstream news. If there are websites that provide better news reports, then go to those outlets to receive information. I can’t tell you how many credible sources I’ve discovered on the internet. Those sources are much more honest than tv news networks.

It doesn’t affect you that much- so does it matter?

At the end of the day, what are you getting in return for watching the news? Nothing if your purpose is for entertainment. Unfortunately, that’s basically what the news is all about today. If you’re not receiving value, then there’s no reason to watch the news.

It’s nice to know about the happenings around the world, but it doesn’t affect you in every way. Should you stay informed? Sure, but it’s not necessary to throw a fuss about who runs the country. Whoever is the president or leader of a country shouldn’t dictate your life in any way.

Ultimately, no individual or group can decide how you live your life. No one can tell you what foods to eat. No one can tell you how to to manage your finances. The same with the news networks- they don’t have a say in what you should believe in. 

Wrap-Up

Although watching the news can be entertaining, sometimes it doesn’t provide much value to you. Whether we’re talking about mental health or being informed, there’s plenty of questions about what the media presents to their audiences. Not all information is presented factually, so it’s your responsibility to validate what you’re being told to believe in.

As I mentioned earlier, watching the news can be a huge time waster. If you consume a lot of it, maybe you need to change things up. Better options include reading books or learning new skills. Doing something productive and meaningful would be a far much better use of your time. If you want to do that, I suggest you tune out from the news whenever possible. 

Do you want to learn a new hobby or improve your skillset? Check out Skillshare, one of the top online learning platforms out there. There are thousands of classes available with a premium membership. 

Sign up today for a free two-week trial to try out premium. I guarantee that there’s something for you to check out in Skillshare. Make the most of your time starting today.

Finally, I’ll conclude this post with the word of the week, along with a quote and principle as well.

Word of the Week

  • Defy – resist or disobey; challenge or dare

Quote of the Week

  • At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely. – Somerset Maugham

Life Principle of the Week

  • Charity – Kindness or help for the needy or suffering 

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