We’ve all heard the common saying, “No news is good news.” These days, there is no such thing as “no news.” Whether the news is good, bad, fake, or boring, it’s everywhere. There is no place to hide.
Each morning when I begin my workday, I first check my laptop. I’m immediately accosted by all kinds of news, much of it horrifying. The terrifying items jump out as I scroll swiftly down my newsfeed, searching for something that won’t cause my stomach to clench and my heart to drop, but often finding only death, violence, and of course, politics.
I was actually raised on bad news, so I’m familiar with scary journalism (and it didn’t keep me from wanting to be newspaper reporter, either, which was my very first “real” job). When I was a child, I clearly remember my parents reading snippets from the newspaper aloud. We subscribed to a morning and an evening paper, so there were plenty of articles to discuss. My parents, who tended to lean toward negativity, would often remark, “Little John Smith, this says here, drowned in the pond yesterday.” Or, “Betty Myers passed away last Sunday. She was poisoned when she ate some bad turkey.”
Yes, they loved to recount such tales; in fact, I believe they were intended to scare me so that I wouldn’t be tempted to skate on thin ice or eat food that wasn’t properly cooked. But in spite of the generous dose of bad news I received each day as a kid, it was nothing… nothing compared to what I consume now as an adult. And though I miss my parents dearly, in some ways I am thankful that –news junkies that they were—they’re not alive to suffer the astonishing glut of bad news stories we experience now.
Of course, there are ways around this, and I employ some of them. One is to take a media break, and simply refuse to listen to or read the stories. Another is to pick and choose carefully. Or simply to harden one’s heart (which actually is not simple at all).
But I prefer to know what’s going on in the world, and much like my parents, I’m curious and concerned about current events. Due to technology, however, we no longer are exposed just to little John Smith from down the road, but to all the horrors and mishaps that occur everywhere, all over the world, constantly, at every second.
Sometimes, I wish my morning newsfeed would announce, “40 billion flowers bloomed today!” or “Six million children were just born without birth defects!” Or “A zillion people just fell in love!” I guess that’s silly, and some might even argue that life would be dull without some bad news now and then. I'd be willing to try it, though. Wouldn't you?