I read the news on a daily basis. The BBC News app being one of the most used apps on my smartphone, social medial and WhatsApp aside.
However during a recent conversation with a mindfulness trainer, she advised me that she avoids the news. To summarise the reason she gave, the news makes us feel negative emotions.
Should we be purposely ignorant of current affairs and just what would we be missing if we paid no attention to the news?
A quick scan of the BBC website and the main headlines include (as of Sunday 20 August 2017):-
- “Spain mourns victims at Barcelona Mass”
- “Iraq launches push to seize Tal Afar”
- “Seaside town in ‘lock-down’ amid disorder”
It was a fairly quiet day in the news, but I can see why she tries to avoid it.
The first article adds little to what I have already read over the past week about the recent attacks in Barcelona.
The second article has told me Iraqi forces have begun an operation to reclaim one of the last towns occupied by IS in Iraq. The third article is bizarre, pubs and bars in a seaside town in the UK have made the decision to close until Monday as a result of unspecified events.
Being oblivious to these three particular articles will make little difference, unless you were planning a trip to Cromer and want to visit a pub or two. But miss an increasing number of articles, and soon you start to lose touch with current affairs.
There are many things I would never have known without reading the news and I enjoy taking an interest in current affairs. But would I feel better every day if I did choose to avoid it? Would I feel better within myself and project this onto others around me?
I genuinely don’t know.