Control Your Bad News Consumption To Control Depression
Have you ever noticed how it's only BAD news that gets the ratings? And the bad news is SO depressing! Missing Malaysia flight 370, Putin in Crimea, the Pistorius murder trial - and that isn't even the worst of the crappy news.
Bad News Is Everywhere - and It Worsens Depression
Bad news is impossible to avoid. The news is everywhere: TV, radio, live streaming at bus stations and subway stations, on Facebook and Twitter and countless other social media sites;,live on the internet at CNN.com, CTVNews.ca, Mashable and Huffington, through newspapers and magazines, and of course, through word of mouth. The list of mediums is endless, bad news seeping into every crevice of our lives, with the potential to pull us deeper into depression. Even when we're isolated as a result/symptom of our depression, bad news is still apt to find us through television or the Internet at the very least.
So, what can we do? How can we ever hope to avoid the onslaught?
Bad News About Bad News
[caption id="attachment_2371" align="alignright" width="288"] By Idea Go, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net[/caption]
The truth is, we can't. Reporting of bad news will always outweigh the reporting of good news. Bad news sells. If you want to see/hear/read good news, you're going to have to seek it out for yourself.
I spend a lot of time on Twitter. Recently, while browsing through my Twitter feed, I realized that all I was seeing was bad news, repeated over and over. Worse still, I found myself seeking out trending tragedies to get my fix on what was happening next. It's kind of like a gross drug sometimes. While keeping abreast of local, national, and global news is important, we can choose to make it but a small piece of what we consume.
Control the Bad News You Consume to Control Your Depression
Because Twitter is my social media app of choice, I chose to seek out and follow stuff that would make me happy, brighten my day, or give me a laugh. I started to follow Animal Planet, for instance. I found and followed a local comedian who tweets a lot of funny stuff. I follow more than one person who posts cute animal photos. I unfollowed Huffington post and instead, happily chose to follow HuffPostGoodNews. I follow Good News Toronto and MarshaTheMoose from Big Brother Canada.
I avoid newspapers at all costs. I never liked them. I wasn't a magazine reader either. I don't listen to the evening news. On Facebook, I only "Like" the pages of organizations that are uplifting or frivolous, since both have their place in what can sometimes be a bad day. I enjoy talk radio but change the station when they're discussing something horrible. And while I don't fool myself into thinking the bad news isn't out there, I am doing my best to control what I consume, especially since so much of it is beyond my control.
Bad news is everywhere and it is so very depressing. But, the good news is out there too. Seek it out. Devour it. Let it be the cute, funny, uplifting moment in your day.
Scott, L. (2014, April 6). Control Your Bad News Consumption To Control Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/04/ba-news-is-so-depressing
Author: Liana M. Scott
Co-sign. I've been doing this for a while now. I was at my parents house who are old and often blue, and my mom was watching local news coverage of murders and my dad was listening to a spiriting debate (yelling) about some political stuff. I thought, maybe they wouldn't be so miserable if they watched other things. Other than sports, they watch nothing but the news. Sometimes my mom will find something interesting on PBS -- antique roadshow or something, or a gameshow, but this is after hours upon hours of negative coverage. I told her, I'm leaving. She said that my brother-in-law had also commented on it on his last visit, saying, "Why are we watching this?" because they often have it on during dinner. Ugh. Anyway, I don't watch local news. I don't watch CNN. If there is a breaking news story I feel I should know about that I see in passing online, I purposely wait until enough time has passed that would make the reporting accurate so that I don't get sucked into the "possible theories" reporting. I change the radio station, I turn the channel and I love Netflix. And though I am a true crime buff, I decided to stop watching the detective or true crime shows. And I also did what you did -- I follow accounts that I never would have before -- baby animals, etc. -- If something is cute and makes me smile, why not? It doesn't make me less smart in fact, studies show that people learn better and are more creative when they are happy! There's a Ted Talk on this. Anyway, loved the post. I'm right there with you.
Hi Roxanne. I hope your parent decide on watching some more pleasant TV. My Mom watches Wheel of Fortune and my Dad watches Just for Laughs Gags and we all sometimes watch America's Funny Home Videos together - OMG - that show makes us howl! Feels so good. I glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the comment.
I don't really bother watching the news anymore... There will always be something out there in the world to worry about, but way waist our energy on something we can't change! Feeling bad doesn't make the problems of the world go away, and it certainly doesn't contribute to our happiness. I choose to pay extra attention to all the small good things in life and during my day... the world is really a beautiful place if we just look in the right direction.
Thanks for sharing!
Hey Jessica. VERY well put!! :-)
Hi Liana! Thanks for this awesome post. A few years ago, I stopped watching the news and reading newspapers. I felt so much better. Life is so much brighter when we surround ourselves with positive news and information. A must-read blog post!
Hi Kelly. Thanks! Being on Twitter as much as I am was really an overload on the bad and not enough good. Hence the post :-)