Life without news

Reading time: 2 mins

After school the rush to get home was palpable, mostly for those blissful moments from 4.30 to 6pm when the TV was mine and mine alone. All those childhood programmes I consumed and which still hold a special place in my pop culture heart; Battle of the Planets, Dungeons & Dragons (did those kids ever get home?), Grange Hill, Bananaman, Super Gran, Tony Hart, the list is long.

And every evening, inevitably, along came 6pm and it was time for The News. It was all very serious and boring and for grownups, so I’d take my cue and head to my bedroom to escape.

I did the same yesterday, or at least the 2020 equivalent, and stopped checking social media completely. It’s a tactic I’ve used before and one which I’m starting to use more and more.

Whilst I happily publish to social media, I tend not to post opinions that are singularly mine, preferring to share views and thoughts that I endorse. Beyond that I tend to post things that are silly or funny, things (I think are) thought provoking, or just photos of nice things I’ve seen/cute pics of the dogs.

OK, it’s MOSTLY cute pics of the dogs, shut up.

Yet the current pile-on culture is just so far removed from how I want to act that I find it more and more bewildering and so I turn away from social media more and more often.

So many people are posting – to use the most recent example – about how disgusting and awful and terrible the actions Dominic Cummings took (and I agree). But as the media circus descends, it quickly becomes a tiny echo chamber as more and more people shout and holler and wail, and very quickly it’s no longer news. It’s just noise.

My opinion, posted on Facebook or Twitter, will not change the mind of the people involved.

My opinion, posted on Facebook or Twitter, will not add any more weight to the volume of people calling for action.

My opinion, posted on Facebook or Twitter, just adds to the noise.

And, in this current example, I find myself looking around for the leaders, the voices I expect to hear speaking up about this. Be they Tories supporting or vilifying Mr. Cummings, or anyone in the opposite parties taking a stand, these are the voices I want to listen to. Those voices should be news.

Except they aren’t. Not any more.

With each new generation of politicians comes another swathe of self-interested, self-promoting, egotistical morons. Yes, it’s the system we have but the more often I vote the more I realise the choices are slimmer and slimmer and quickly become one evil over another (but I will still always vote!).

I guess my tolerance for all of that noise is just getting lower and lower and, all took quickly I find it all a bit much. Or perhaps it’s not too quickly at all, perhaps it’s right that I run out of patience and interest sooner than I have in the past, perhaps after spending 20+ years online I’m finally learning to step away when I should.

I strive for a simple happy life, and for the most part I have one that is all those things and more. Away from the screens there is much love and laughter, and I’m more and more content to just enjoy those moments.

So I turn off the news.

I mute the noise.

And maybe tomorrow I will have the desire to turn it back on.

3 Replies to “Life without news”

  1. I never watch or listen to the news, though I do read the papers – I can be more selective there. And yes, everyone has an opinion on social media and isn’t hesitant about sharing it. I’ve unfollowed a few of the most strident.

  2. Yes, I’m slowly pairing back my use of Facebook and Twitter (I don’t have this issue with Instagram) for those exact reasons.

  3. Yes.

    But I (still) don’t do social media (apart from the blog), and I am now repulsed by the whole lot of the Westminster politicians, and have gone from an avid consumer of news on R4 and similar to being someone who actively turns it off.

    That said, living not too far from the Scottish border at present, and getting groceries delivered from a Scottish store, and often Amazon Prime deliveries from Scottish distribution centres, and chatting to the delivery drivers (probably a dozen different ones now), it is noticeable how much more respect they have for Nicola than we do for Boris. Not least because she does the Monday to Friday briefings herself, doesn’t try to pass the buck, and sacked her transgressing advisor within 24 hours.

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