. In the past year I’ve been thinking a lot about news consumption and what it does to us, so I appreciated this reflection, Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News. I was especially struck (convicted) by this: “Being concerned” makes us feel like we’re doing something when we’re not.
In my youth, I worked in Boston, and this was my entire news consumption: Before I got on the MBTA to go to work, I bought the day’s Boston Globe, and I’d read it on the “T” , a trip of no more than ½ hour. I’m sure that I was as well-informed, in any useful way, as I am now. I think that one thing that’s changed in my lifetime has been not an increase in actual news but in the round-the-clock drip-drip-drip that sucks us into feeling that, at every minute of the day, we might miss out on some important development if we’re not locked in.
Probably if I followed no news at all, I’d learn about the significant worldly events just from the buzz in my social environment. I’m not ready to go that far, but if I could manage to confine myself to a ½-hour digest once a day I’m sure that I’d be a saner, more centered person, and well-enough informed to take part in the events of my time.