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News or bad news?

One of the key activities a person considered to be an adult is expected to do is to watch or read the news. Maybe I am wrong, but in my generation (people in their early to mid-thirties), people didn’t start closely following the news until after they are at least in their twenties. I don’t remember of any of my friends being a follower of the news in their teens. Maybe that has to do with the fact that the access to the internet and to a wide range of TV channels was not easily available back then. When I say in their twenties, I think I am being a little conservative. I should maybe say mid to late twenties. Nowadays, it is not easy to be far away from all that’s going in on the world. The young population is glued to the internet, and mainly Facebook and other internet media such as twitter. One’s intention with using Facebook may just be to check out what his or her friends are up to these days, but in the process, one cannot avoid stumbling on a post about the recent crisis in country X. It has simply become impossible to give a deaf ear from all the bad news coming from all corners of the world. People have made it their jobs to sacrifice their work and family time to discuss all of the things they heard on the news that may or may not directly concern them, and the things that may or may not have direct effects on their lives. We are flooded with so much information that we have come the point of being unable to screen out what is true and what is not, and what is relevant and what is not. We are becoming numb to the news that hundreds of people are being killed every day in country X through bombing or other form of torture, or through a deadly viral disease. People we hear about on the news are becoming mere faceless numbers.

I agree that someone who considers themselves to be a mature adult should be aware of what is going on in the world or their close surroundings. Someone should at least be able to follow what goes on in their own countries. One can make life decisions based on what they hear in the news. I get that. But I have to be honest though. There are some days where I ask myself about what the real use of following day by day, or twice or more times a day about the bombings in Syria, or the number of refugees that have fled South Sudan, or the rising number of death tolls from Ebola virus in the Congo. Personally, the only thing that hearing about such news everyday does for me is to add more stress in my brain. And this is because I am dead sure that there is no single thing I can do in response to such news. I am completely helpless. Back in my late twenties, I remember I made the decision to act as a mature adult and follow the news everyday on BBC and CNN just like my father does. So, I implemented my decision. At some point, I realized that I was becoming more and more stressed from the news, and started to believe that the world is going to come soon to an end. That there will be an apocalypse soon! That’s when I decided that I will only watch the news on these channels only if I hear from my surroundings or the local news that something of relevance to my life is happening. That’s it.

Honestly, it makes me sick that people are making billions of dollars from broadcasting all the bad news in the world. For them, it’s a career. It’s their economy. It’s something they picture themselves as being heroes. Sometimes, I even think these big news channels wish for things to get much worse in this world, so that they can continue to be heroes for broadcasting it. I don’t even know why these channels call the news as ‘news’. Why don’t they just call it ‘Bad News’? It’s rarely that good news are broadcasted. I think we should all think of taking at least intermittent breaks from ‘bad news’ and help ourselves to develop a more positive view of this world, and of existence in general.

Contributed by Tsion Taye
Contributed by Tsion Taye