Create Healthier Media Habits
Media consumption is like being addicted to sugar. We can’t seem to get enough and it’s not good for our health. Let’s opt-out of the dramatic, sensationalized, and exaggerated while staying informed and participating in society. Here’s a few suggestions for creating healthier media habits.
I think we could all benefit from a full-blown media detox. No media, at all, for at least 3 days or a week if you can do it. No Facebook, Instagram, or other social media feeds. No watching TV news, no internet homepages, no reading newsletters in your mail or email. Nothing.
If you can go longer than a week, do so. If you cannot go three days without some form of news media, you really should ask yourself why that is.
I hope that having a break from the drama will allow you to be intentional about what you are consuming. Here are a few ways to cultivate some sources of news and happenings that are a bit less histrionic. (I googled that word ; ))
Create Positive Social Media Feeds
First, social media is not a reputable source for news. Social media is for socializing with your friends, communities, and family. On Facebook, Instagram and all the other social media products we use, algorithms feed us things we will be interested in, based on our clicks and likes. If you stop clicking on the crap with the dramatic headlines, you will get less of this type of content in your feed. Learn to get your news from other sources.
In addition, every time something comes up that is not valuable, things like politics, hate, and end of days rants, you can block, unsubscribe, and choose to see less of that. Similarly, if you get stuff you like, that makes you smile, like and choose to see more info like that. Simple.
These tasks are tedious at first but before you know, it your feeds will go from life is awful to isn’t life beautiful. Your life and you feeds will be what you make of them, literally. If you choose to fill your head with doom and gloom well then, that is what you get.
Get Current Events from the Source
Ask yourself, what news do you want to be informed about? What do you care about?
- If you want a virus update, go directly to the CDC website.
- If you want to know something about your state, go to your states website, your state.gov
- If you want to know something about the federal government go to USA.gov
Other decent sources of daily news (be careful not to confuse the ads on these websites for actual news, it’s tricky):
- Associated Press – Global News, Current Events
- Weather.com – Weather, Travel and Astronomical Stuff
- Reuters – Business and Financial News
Pay Attention to YOUR Local News
I am not talking about on TV.
What is going on in your community? Do you know your neighbors? Do you have a local newsletter or paper you can subscribe to? Some of these are junk but some are really good.
Think about the type of news you want to know. Are you interested in local business? Look at your Chamber of Commerce website. Your church? Your school or university?
Spend time seeking out the news you want to hear. Do not allow someone else (media) to choose for you.
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