Get an extra hour/day by quitting all news media (and still stay updated)
I don’t watch the news and I don’t read newspapers.
I might read a front page to see if there are any radical news, that needs my immediate attention – that’s it.
You might think I am uninformed, ignorant or something worse and don’t care about what goes on around me, and to some extend you are right. I don’t think mass media has much valuable or interesting stories anymore, it’s mostly political scandals and celebrity crap that doesn’t make you smarter.
When was the last time you totally missed out on something important?
We feel like we have to stay online and connected to news all the time, but too often it just ends up eating away our time. News are accessible everywhere, and it’s hard to even go to the grocery store without facing news screens, newspaper ads or other platforms with big headlines.
Much more news are available than a few years ago ,and I really do think that’s great, but it’s easy to get caught up in it, and get addicted to checking news several times a day, and that’s not productive in any way.
You might end up getting more confused than enlightened, and you can’t take appropriate action and all this information anyway.
Reality is that it’s close to impossible to miss any big news. Whenever something truly important happens it is everywhere, and you can’t miss it. You will hear it from friends and family, a news stand, a screen or anywhere else.
Skip the rat race and be selective
I think it’s important to make a conscious decision, about what you allow to disturb you. Everything around you want your attention, and it’s up to you to define what you want to focus on.
I like to be proactive about prioritizing my time, so I don’t waste hours every week reading stuff that doesn’t change me or my behavior in any way.
I have some clear goals about getting debt free, getting in better shape, write blog posts etc. and to accomplish my goals I need to focus my time.
It’s certainly a good thing to stay informed about both local and global issues, but I think we have reached a point where news, gossip and redundant headlines are filling up our social space, and we need to find new ways (aside from mass media) to stay informed on important matters.
Where to go for relevant / serious news?
So you don’t check the broad news media anymore, how do you stay updated?
I do have a few online news media sites I find interesting, and I check them from time to time. I’m certainly not afraid to miss out on any important big news – they will hit me several times anyway – and for niche topics and specific interests I go online.
I don’t feel the urge to be the most (first) informed person in my social circle, I am OK with sometimes having to hear a story from someone else without having read it first.
I live in Denmark most of the time, and here we have a couple of small free newspaper that you can grab on any street corner.
Whenever I catch a bus I will check the front page, and even though it’s also mostly filled with unimportant news, it does tell me if anything important happened anywhere.
Besides world news I have an interest in topics like the online startup scene and new science generally, so I check sites like TechCrunch, Reddit and Ted.com once in a while to get updated.
Reddit is great, because it has (mostly) intelligent users, and content is voted up and down depending on the readers opinions. This means that I don’t have to sort through all the content, to find what’s relevant. People have already done that for me.
What about local news?
Personally I don’t have a big interest in local news. I like to travel all around the world, and don’t see myself staying in the same area for more than a couple of years max, but I do think it’s important to encourage local initiatives.
Luckily most people like to stay in the same area for decades, and I leave the local matters to them.
I personally like to focus my attention on other places with different kind of problems.