Balancing your news diet
People around the world are running from the news.
Why it matters: Coverage of these painful times is ruining our mood, burning us out and just plain confusing us.
- But better-informed citizens can help leaders make better decisions and are more empathetic toward people who live very different lives.
What's happening: With the pandemic, a fractured Washington and the war in Ukraine, we've had more than two years of distressing, divisive news.
- Past studies have shown constant bad news can give us PTSD-like symptoms.
- Plus journalists often do a lousy job: The "Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2022" says many younger people "say they avoid news because it can be hard to follow or understand."
The result: News trust in the U.S. is the lowest among the 46 countries polled for the report — at 26% (tied with Slovakia).
- The world average: 42%.
🧠 Between the lines: The mistake we make is marinating in topics that are sure to make us gloomy and grumpy.
- One of the reasons you Finish Line readers are so engaged and responsive is we bring in the orchestra of healthier topics — fitness, leadership and society-changing technologies.
💡 Here are some tips for keeping up without burning out:
1. Find sources you trust — and stick to them. Quit getting your news on endless social feeds, which can be littered with misinformation.
2. Set a routine. Don't spend all day scrolling and stewing. Catch up at certain times of day and — shameless plug — make an appointment with a few newsletters.
3. Remember that most of the world is normal. For every bad or sad story, there are lots of uplifting ones that get lots less attention.
4. Take real breaks. Literally, turn off your device now and then: The mere presence of a lit screen can make us jumpy.
5. Go deeper. Dig into topics you truly care about and want to learn more about. Find a smart podcast ... follow magazine writers you trust ... spend more time with documentaries. The truth is there's more enlightening information handy than ever before — if you can focus and find it.