Mar 01, 2009

Am I addicted to news?

Posted by: Marian Salzman In: current events

I tele-commuted one day last week, so TV news was my workmate all day long. It was an eye-opening experience. I watched Joe the Plumber attend a book signing five people showed up to; and economic report after economic report repeatedly reminding me that the sky is still falling. I heard various conservatives rant, numerous liberals ramble and academics talk about how we’ve lost our way. What became incredibly clear is that I suffer from what Tom Brokaw once described when he said he felt at odds with the world when he was out of touch with the news. How could the world function if he wasn’t at the news throttle to monitor its comings and goings? I think I am having delusions that planes won’t crash, volcanoes won’t erupt and salmonella won’t spread as long as I’m at the ready. I’ve been obsessed for years, but it’s getting worse. Where do I find a 12-step to help me shed this ridiculous addiction? I saw “Confessions of a Shopaholic” last weekend, in part to amuse my two young nieces (though I’ll admit I was curious, I loved the books), and now I keep thinking, Who would attend a news addiction group? Can news be destroying my social life?

  • StuartHarris
    Too much news too often can cause a lot of damage for little benefit. Since it invariably focuses much more on what's wrong than what's right, it amplifies awareness of what's dysfunctional in the world.

    I suspect that for "serious" and educated people there's a sense of obligation to be as informed as possible so that one can take appropriate action. But if one's getting deluged with 1-2 hours (or more) of big heavy stuff every day (Madoff, Detroit, climate change, peak oil, health care etc. etc.) what chance is there of processing it and finding appropriate responses?

    Unlike most dtrug addictions, the next "hit" of news rarely makes you feel better for even a moment, does it?
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