Some may say, “But it’s my civic duty to know what’s going on in the world and be educated on current events”. Well, corporate news is not there to educate you on current events. Their business model works like this:
- The news companies make their profit primarily based on the revenue they receive from their sponsors and advertisers.
- The amount of money that the market will allow them to charge their sponsors and advertisers is based on how many viewers / listeners / downloads / clicks, etc. that their company’s content receives.
- It has been proven time and time again by various psychological studies that people will watch, download, click on content more often and for longer periods of time when they are angry or scared than when they are experiencing positive emotions.
- Therefore, these news corporations intentionally curate stories that will keep their audience angry and scared. That doesn’t mean that these stories are necessarily false. It means that any positive story, any news about people coming together and helping to solve a problem are going to be buried, minimalized, and marginalized. Just because that’s how their business model is optimized. So just like we need to outsmart the social media algorithms that are in place with the objective of programming us to open their apps without even consciously thinking about it and then to mindlessly “zombie scroll” our feeds (and their advertisers) for hours on end, we need to also reprogram ourselves to not fall into the trap of craving that “high” of feeding on content that we know is going to keep us scared and / or angry.
OK, so no corporate news and completely minimize other sources of news. Just like your social media time, be intentional about scheduling your news consumption for one, specific, 15 minute time block each day of news consumption. Seek out independent sources that don’t rely on corporate advertisers and sponsors to survive. Don’t mindlessly consume “news” as a source of background noise. Don’t stare at a TV news station that might be on at the gym. Finally, balance out 15 minutes of “bad news” with at least 15 minutes of positive news consumption per day. There are various feeds and email services that focus on only positive news. For example, a couple of us at Legendary Life subscribe to “NICE NEWS” which sends their subscribers a daily email filled with nothing but positive news stories. USE THIS LINK TO CHECK THEM OUT AND SUBSCRIBE IF YOU FEEL CALLED. But to be clear, we aren’t suggesting that you bury your head in the sand to the world’s problems and only consume lighthearted, “feel good stories” while ignoring the serious issues that face the world. What we are saying is that you should balance your consumption. Positive & negative. Yin and Yang. Ask yourself this question. If you feel like it’s important to your role as that of an “informed citizen” to know every up to the second detail about every war, pandemic, act of terror, tyranny, prejudice, etc. then why don’t you think it’s also important to be up to the second on every piece of good news. Every act of kindness, every scientific breakthrough, every heroic rescue and recovery, every hero’s journey going on at the same time as all the horror? When you lay it out like that it seems obvious that the two are at least of equal value. However, since most of us have been programmed to exist in constant fight or flight mode we tend to gravitate to the negative and put more weight to the threats and horror and less weight to the positive. So how about you try and break the cycle and be intentional about what you are consuming and why. Consume information on your terms.