Not too long ago, I was a news junkie. I watched it on TV, listened to it on the radio, and read about it online. I knew a lot about what was going on in the world — the scandals, the corruption, the violence. I tortured myself about the looming disaster our economy was becoming, the perpetual crisis in the Middle East, the insanity of North Korea, all of it. Then, a funny thing happened.
When my marriage fell apart, I spent a couple of months semi-homeless, and when I did get my own place, I couldn’t afford to turn on cable right away, so I went about nine months without a television, at all. I also spent most of my time in the car listening to my MP3 player through my Monster cable, and I didn’t spend much time online. I weened myself from the news.
Last night, during commercials in an episode of Law and Order Criminal Intent, I flipped over to Lou Dobbs Tonight, just to see. Within five minutes, I was miserable. The world is still spinning hopelessly to oblivion, and we are all doomed to a future of political corruption, war, and greed. And then, I had the epiphany. Ignorance really is bliss. Having not followed the news for a year and a half, I had very little to worry about outside of my own personal drama, and I was much better for it. I wasn’t sitting around beating myself up over situations I cannot change and cannot impact on any real level. Instead, I had been focusing on myself and learning to deal with my own issues that need serious attention.
So other than as a casual observer, I’m done following the news. I’m much happier without it, but if World War III erupts, will one of my friends please text me and let me know?