Why We Should Not Watch Quite so Much News

Why We  Should Not Watch Quite so Much News


We know that we must, to lay claim to any
respectability or competence, keep up with the news. That’s why we’ve ringed the
earth with satellites, crisscrossed it with fiber optic cables, and created networks of
bureaus that inform us with maniacal urgency of pretty much any event to have unfolded
anywhere on the planet in the last few moments. We are, furthermore, equipped with tiny devices
that we keep very close to hand, and which we tend to check at intervals of between one
and five minutes (rarely longer) so as to monitor all unfolding stories in close to
real time. We have been granted a ringside seat on the second by second flow of history.
As a result we see a lot more. And at the same time, strangely, we see a lot less. The
constant presence of news from without hampers our ability to pick up on an equally important,
though far less prestigious source of news from within. We are not, by nature, well equipped
to see inside ourselves. Consciousness bobs like a small boat on a sea of disavowed emotions.
A lot of feelings and ideas require a high degree of courage to confront. They threaten
to make us uncomfortably anxious, excited or sad were we to learn more about them. So
we use the news without to silence the news from within. We have the most prestigious
excuse ever invented never to spend any time roaming freely inside our own minds. It is
not that the news from without is unimportant to someone (indeed, it will be the most important
thing in certain people’s lives a continent away or in a company in the capital or somewhere
in the upper reaches of government), it’s just that this news is almost certainly wholly
disconnected from our real priority over the coming years; which is to make the most of
our life and our talents in the time that remains to us. It is touching that we should
give so much of our curiosity over to strangers, but it is poignant that we are forced eventually
to pay such a high price for this constant dispersal of energy. We dismiss fragile, tentative
thoughts about what we should do next, who we should call, what we really need to do,
thoughts upon which an adequate future for us depends – for the sake of the more obvious
drama of the moment. But the drama won’t save us, and cares not a jot about our development
or our real responsibilities. It feels counter-intuitive to think that there might be certain things
more important than the news. But there is: our own lives – which we have, troublingly, been granted such prestigious reasons and means to avoid confronting. We can educate ourselves in the art of being calm. Not through special teas or slow breathing but through thinking. This book guides us through that process.

100 thoughts on “Why We Should Not Watch Quite so Much News

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  2. Wtf are you talking about,

    People watch news to forget about their shitty lives,,, your fucking it up for everybody who doesn't want to deal with internal shit,
    Fuck,,

  3. The School of Life is the very few channel I respect by don't fast-forward the whole video and watch from start to end, their quality is unquestionable.

  4. The thing that strikes me as the biggest waste on time on networks is the board of experts doing that dumb crossfire thing. Hooks viewers through frustration.

  5. I didn't take from this that I should stop checking news just that it can easily become a vice. Our brains unfortunately are wired to be addicted to outrage. Funny thing is that the outraged people in the comments need their fix of outrage so badly that they didn't even read the title properly. The key words being "not quite so much"

  6. Great vid, I stoped watching the news about 3-4 months ago after watching it everyday for as long as I can remember, I’ve never been happier all the crap on the news I can’t do a thing about it’s going to happen regardless of my action, so I don’t care for the news, I now did in once a week or every few weeks see what’s going on an think to my self wow what a load of shite, i now can’t believe I wasted so much time worrying about things I have zero influence to change or effect, now I focus more on he things I can actually change an influence

  7. Good news is important and bad news is no doubt harmful. The skill we need to practice is to filter out the right content and move on. And as the video suggest, never make news as a escape route to your current chores or introspection.

  8. It's time to calm down and reorganize our experience and information in order to tackle the real problems strategically and effectively.

  9. I stopped watching TV news on a regular basis ages ago, and yet I feel as informed as I was! At least half of the news was irrelevant to me personally – thus falling into the infotainment bracket and a considerable chunk of the rest was just opinion/tendentious versions of events pushing a viewpoint. I actually find it depressing to watch other people's misery all the time – I feel sorry for them, but it is not there purely for me to get upset about.

  10. Because the news contrives to frighten you, to make you feel small and alone, to make you feel that your mind isn't your own.

  11. Bc they are all lies propagated to make us hate each other …the right is all Nazis they say the left is all satanists the right says …nope they are all normal Americans have a trumptastic day

  12. don't read the news too much you might start noticing discrepancies and question what is going on, and ultimately come to the conclusion that you are indeed a slave.

  13. While you are not watching the news the Republicans are screwing you over with this tax bill if you make less than $75,000 a year.

  14. Because it's all bought and paid for by the elite class and used to manipulate the way we think?

    Yes, watch less news. In fact, don't watch it at all and find alternative sources.

  15. The 'news' is propaganda. THAT'S why we shouldn't watch it. None of it is unbiased. None of it is purely informational. It has to do, not with objective truth, but with subjective persuasion and corporate bullshit. Kill your TV. Regain some small modicum of sanity and clarity of thought.

  16. The problem isn't with keeping up with the news, it's the pace at which we're being informed. Before the smartphone era, people read the news in the newspaper, once a day, as a ritual, a way of keeping up with the world around you, which is not a bad thing. The trully anxious causing and distracting thing is the fact that we get pieces of news coming at us 24/7, on social media platforms that were not designed for that. The key isn't to lock yourself in your own bubble and pretend the world is okay, but to let it pierce through in your personal space when you actually decide it best suits you.

  17. See, they ain't slick, be talkin' all cray and shit then you see 'em, they be like that they ain't say that shit!
    I hate that shit, I can make or break your shit See, I got options, don't make me weigh them shits! Remy Ma Wake Me Up by ft. Lil Kim: https://youtu.be/pOEzjT-SED0

  18. im not even gonna watch this, but I'm gonna make a comment.

    How about we watch news that's actually good news. And I'm not screaming "fake news" just because Im the president of my own little world. I'm saying, why not hold news organizations to higher standards.

  19. As a journalism graduate, I cannot agree more with this video. News, especially "hard news" is usually just an attention grabber for you to open the newspaper and see the ads placed together with the article. Just that. Today everybody is discussing the intrusive ads on the internet but in fact, it is just a natural evolution of what always existed with the major news corporations. Nothing new.

  20. Because it’s mostly fake!! I’ve been learning to take the time and actually read a paper. Helps me slow down and stream the bias!

  21. Although I love the outlook of this channel on many topics the lack of sociology seriously delimits some of the arguments made. Aside from it being a prestigious way of distracting ourselves from the anxieties of existence, news are not even what many would think of it as. By just looking at the small number of companies that owns media outlets, you get the idea that there is a huge monopoly going on about the 'truth' that is constructed for us. Not only would the news almost never challenge the present order but it'd also necessarily need to be close to the politically powerful as many times there are no alternative sources for 'last minute' news about political affairs. Aside from such media bias, news outlets also operate upon principles for keeping as many audiences as possible, constantly trying to entertain, surprise or horrify audiences, bending and mending news in that way, and never coming to talk about uncomfortable topics that could be use in understanding what is going on in society, unless there is political interest in exposing them.

    Although all of us can agree that we are seeking external sources to mask our anxiety of being human, this video does not even go to the depths of explaining why the news is such a good source for this, let alone how mistaken we are to regard it as the ultimate prestigious source of distraction…

  22. I agree that we should watch less news. Most of it's not relevant to real decisions we need to make in our lives and can simply cause undue stress. I suggest remaining conscious and refrain from knee-jerk emotional reactions and then asking yourself what the publishers of said news wanted to make you feel or do. Be aware of social engineering.

  23. School of life channel reminds me of the word عقل in Arabic which literally means bond band as if to say join knowledge together and to halt
    so thank you

  24. I mean… your right, technically, but I hate the way this whole video is worded. News within? Hey, maybe it makes more sense to others that wouldnt get it but idk.

  25. I really agree with this. My parents would only watch news (which I don't think helps having a delusional parent) but they often times never thought about what's happening now. It's just oh this and that happened on the news. I find news boring uninteresting and hard to get into. I try to stay a bit up to date, but tbh I can always hear second hand info from people anywhere. News is always a constant thing to talk about. I find it completely uninteresting most of the times, and often times really stressful when I do get into it.

  26. Ask any westerner, "does propaganda exist in your country". They will day no or I don't think so. This is the level that countries like China can only dream that their propaganda machine gets to that level.

  27. It grieves me how many people, especially the young take no care to read news at all. This is civic irresponsibility, however it is also true that an obsession with news can, as this video wisely claims, cause us to lose touch with ourselves. Good video.

  28. I disagree with this one. I think if you want to learn more about yourself, maybe stop doing social media and gaming and those kind of things. But if you want to learn about all humankind, not just the people you personally know, you HAVE TO watch the news + consume art. There is no way around it.

  29. There is some truth to what this video points out. It is easy to spend so much time focusing on events out of one's control, instead of focusing on healing yourself. One thinks of one's parents, forever complaining about this or that that they read about the other day. It is wholly unhealthy. But introspection can lead quickly to self-obsession, with is likewise unhealthy. At one point in history it was easy to say 'I can't do anything about the female vote' or 'I can't do anything about the lives of black people', and 'why should I concern myself with these things?' Because they matter, that's why. And history has shown that people can change the unchangeable when they work together. What is required is balance. Too much worrying about the news is utterly unhealthy, but so is it's opposite. Now to comment on the other issue in this video – the 'realness' of the news… well that's a whole other issue completely.

  30. Personally I make sure I read the news everyday so I don't float away in my isolated bubble of "reality" but I always limit it so I don't overwhelm myself with too many unnecessary emotions from things that don't actually affect me

  31. The main problem of news today is that they're not verified because there is a kind of rush or competition for delivering them as soon as possible. It's not about real news, it's all about fast instant news and with such a system fake news can easily spread.
    The other problem we have is FOMO (fear of missing something out): we feel the urgency to be always connected and catch up on what is going on in the world otherwise we could feel left out, BUT it's impossible to know everything.
    If we become victims of this system we will spend our whole time passively watching news instead of living and experiencing.

  32. Thought-provoking piece, as usual. My only quibble is an underlying assumption: that the news from without is actually curated by people whose motives are to bring us the most important events happening around the world in any given period. This is not true; news is created primarily to scare or infuriate the audience, scold someone prominent or reinforce the pre-existing narrative of those creating it. These are important reasons to limit one's exposure to news, while continuing to consume the deeply flawed product.

  33. I am disappointed that once again the author , whoever F made the video missed the point. We know alot of more but at the same time lot less. The KNOWLEDGE IS THE KEY. but we know much less because we get fragment of stories, EVER WONDER WHY NEWS ONLY LAST A FEW HOURS hype ? by nature news in the west is orinated toward profit, because it is part a capitalism system. TO view news you must look through cynicism of capitalism glass. For me news analysis of independent source such as The Real News , is one of the ways to understand the nature of our capitalistic based life, what is about to come, and what to expect. It also reminds me about suffering of less privilege second and third and forth….. citizens of the world. Thats why I NEVER Trip over pathetic issues that the rest of American are concerned about what one person in white house did or said on twitter. WAKE F up , and mobilize against corporate- for profit , military industry prison , America.

  34. To watch or not to watch, that is the question…and has been the bane of my life, more or less. Much of it, admittedly, has been colored by my Dad's near omniscience about worldly affairs and his recognizing it as the chief measure of knowledge or intelligence (or so I feel). It seems that it's kind of been at the expense of more personal relations with us (but then again, correlation doesn't imply causation…so I might be shooting myself in the foot with all of this).

    I'll just leave you with something he once said to my Mum: 'I'm reading about geopolitical machinations, and you're watching Teen Mom' (fair comment lol)

  35. A difficulty I have with nightly news coverage is that one story leads so quickly into the next, curtailing my emotional responses and not really giving me time to think. In their defense, sometimes they do give a moment's pause after a particularly poignant or serious story, I just wish they did it a bit more. But maybe I'm just slow and emotional lol.

  36. It just seems like people watch the news so they can update their talking points…
    Also seems like many people are eager to discard their responsibilities as members of society when things get a little overwhelming. Maybe the focus should be on understanding the world instead of convincing people you like to think you are smart?

  37. I haven't really kept up with the news for several years now. It does have some downsides (I'm not the most aware or informed of current events, including those that effect me. But recently I've been checking in every so often to try counteract that) but I've been much happier since. My negative experiences with the news came to a height during Politics A- Level, where to get good marks I had to try include the most up to date examples and arguments that I good. So I had to watch the news, especially political news, like a hawk. And it hurt. Over time I was becoming increasingly angry, bitter and overly pessimistic until it got to boiling point and I swore off news altogether for some time. Like I said that's changing now, but it made me so much happier. It's really easy to jump into the outrage loops but quite difficult to get out of them, and they can be very damaging to be in.

  38. It's not that we shouldn't watch news, it is that we should watch real news not corporate media that is just their to beguile us and mislead us.

    Try the "real news network" "democracy now" "secular talk" balance MSNBC with RT and Aljezeera, don't let news networks become monopolies as Trump is doing RIGHT NOW.

  39. There is news and their is "NEWS ENTERTAINMENT" guess which one I think is BAD, and people need to understand the world MORE not less, so this advice isn't good.

  40. There is a mistake in the title in portuguese. "Bastante" no caso varia em número por estar na função de adjetivo logo deveria ser colocado no plural concordando com "notícias"… Possibles solutions are "assistir bastantes notícias" or "assistir bantante a notícias". I think that's it. :/

  41. So we just shouldn't care about anything but ourselves and should cut ourselves off from it? How can we comprehend and understand our own lives if we know nothing of anything else

  42. it's certainly important to focus on one's individual life, it's also important to keep an eye out for possible dangers.
    If the flu is heavy in your area, you need to know so that you can get a flu shot.
    If you're black, and the police are jumpy with black people, you need to know so that you can exercise extra caution (and take the system to task).
    If a disease infects your food (Like mad cow disease in the mid 2000's) you need to know so that you can avoid that food. .
    If an elected official does enacts a policy that will affect you negatively, you need to know so that you can vote against that person in the next election.
    That's the most important function of news. When it's doing it's job properly, the news can help you make informed decisions.

  43. While I do agree that the news is a main distraction of focusing on one's goals; however, by reading and staying updated it makes us aware of the surroundings, we develop political views, and learn a lot about the world.

  44. I guess I feel so disconnected whenever there is small talk, that I think I should be reading more news or topical things, so that I can relate to people on some basic chatter – and plus, a lot of it can segway into more interesting political discussion. I have been described repeatedly as 'esoteric' before, so I want to make an effort to be more relatable and less cerebral…
    There are things which I need to practice with myself, like drawing and reading fiction, but I don't know whether they are things I would do at the same time?
    But I guess, one can always think more on their plans for life ahead huh…

  45. The news today is not that far ahead of tabloids at this point. The main networks break into programming for almost anything. When Paul Ryan said he wasn’t going to be running for speaker of the house all the networks broke into programming like it was the end of the world. That is why people don’t watch the network news anymore and breaking into programming is not all that necessary unless it’s for a Tragedy, world changing development, or major public figure death not a press conference or an investigation announcement. That is what cable news was made for.

  46. Most news has no real effect on your day to day life. They are also selling a product by emotionally manipulating news readers. You should give max 30 mins to news and spend rest of your day in family, exercise, work, prayer, fun. Life is short.

  47. Because we know so little to understand what is really true in those written sentences in a piece of news

  48. That's just bullshit. As if everybody would watch too much news. This problem is made up. Btw facebook and youtube are not news. Actually news are disappearing all over the world. I cannot believe that educated people come up with this "argumentation".

  49. Exactly. Our attention has been wasted on too much things and events that are so irrelevant to our surroundings and real concerns. Once I tried to delibrately keep away from news and social media in a distance, even feelings like being bored became more inviting and approachable: it actually propells you to seek a way out or at least hones your senses to be more acute rather than being stuck in a state of self-comforting satisfaction.

  50. The state of televised news has become such a cripplized affair, it cannot be watched without the aid of on-screen banners, lipstick and hair dyes…

  51. This channel is really a philosophical revolution when it comes to the issues of 21st century.I have an addiction of this sort and it is at times very depressing,but socially it is considered as a very good habbit .Now I know,why I suffer from so much depression,anxiety and envy when I go through daily events,this has really been extremely helpful.
    Thank you Alain for letting me know what exactly is wrong with me😊

  52. I havent watched it in 15 years and I wasnt even a teenager then. Ultimately all that time one spends watching the news is better spent on a number of things whether it be something "lazy" like hours of Diablo or something more ambitious like travelling or something like that. And most of the events covered in the news have about as much relevance in my life as some guy getting yelled at by his friend at a restaurant that he spent all their rent money on something stupid.

  53. Ironicly, there's not much "news" in "the news". Half of it are lies to control your political vote and the other half are incidents narrated as if we were in an action movie rather than a rigorous program. I very rarely watch the TV and I facepalm constantly while reading the press. So no doubt meditating about my life and thoughts is a time much better spent.

    Ty for the video.

  54. I just unsubbed from most my news channels , I do not want to become a lefty/mid road version of the crazy Trump supporters where all that drama is all I live for, if I need weather or whatnot got an ap or google.

  55. The 'news' we get is a carefully concocted blend of stories designed to elicit emotion. News content is delivered differently to cater for peoples' varied tastes. That way advertising, which pays most media bills, can be more accurately targeted. Unless of course you are a state funded aparutus, BBC for instance, where income is not important and you can push your agenda.

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