Kicking The News Habit

newspaper“My name is Elaine, and I am a news junkie.”

They say that the first step to beat an addiction is to admit one’s powerlessness. Gosh, I hope they’re right.

I didn’t start off compulsively gobbling up the news de jour. In the beginning, I would simply scan the newspaper in the morning.  And then listen to news radio during my short drives out and about. Oh, and catch the 10 pm news before I went to bed.

Over time, I’ve bumped up my news consumption without noticing.

I feel restless unless I read the newspaper cover-to-cover. I check the Internet at lunchtime to catch what’s unfolded that morning. I listen to multiple 30-minute segments on news radio during the day such that I hear the same story two or three times over. My clock radio is set to the news station so, not only does news wake me up, I now let the radio reports lull me to sleep.

Interestingly, during vacations, I go cold turkey and pay no attention to the news. Last week’s college road trip? Didn’t miss the news a bit.

Now that I”m back into my “real life” routine, I find the constant stream of news jarring and upsetting. Every other story brings me down.

  • Big business ignores safety concerns until lives are lost and their “indiscretions” are splashed across headlines. (Take your pick: Toyota or West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch coal mine.)

Make it all go away!

I need an antidote to the depressing 24/7 news cycle. A “happy news” pill, if you will, that will give me my news fix yet now bring me down.

Imagine my relief at finding Happy News, an online news source that promises Real News. Compelling Stories. Always Positive. Sign me up!

Has anyone else found ways to take in the news in bite-size pieces that don’t overwhelm you? Or, should I just quit news all together?


  • Kathleen Says:
    4-8-2010 08:48:40

    Facebook. The answer is Facebook. Any news that’s important enough to matter will find you on Facebook when your friends post about it. You can then look it up to get more information so you don’t seem like a dope in casual conversations. Any other news doesn’t matter. At least that’s my m.o., and I’m sticking by it.

  • Catherine Says:
    4-8-2010 12:23:24

    I had to limit my exposure to news for the very reason you described – the weight of all the pain in the world was skewing me in a negative direction. I scan the Post and subscribe to “The Week” which presents opposing points of view on major news stories, includes international items, and a great book review section.

  • Sharon Says:
    4-9-2010 22:39:47

    I was where you are after the 2008 election. I was on news overload. I now narrow my news exposure to two shows I can get online (one real news and one “fake” news which is probably some of the most accurate), a quick glance at the headlines in the local paper once or twice a week, Charlie Rose on PBS, and maybe the NewsHour on Friday nights a couple times a month. I feel better and I haven’t missed a major story yet.

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