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To never watch the news or read a paper again?

(88 Posts)
HeadMeetSand Thu 15-Dec-16 20:10:35

People being raped/murdered, animals being made to suffer horrendously, drowned or starving children, pain, death, terror and a relentless unfairness.

I read about it, I watch it. It haunts me and I find myself crying about it, agonising about it.

And the truth is I can't do anything meaningful to stop it. I donate, give gifts, sign petitions, go on marches.

Nothing ever really changes. I don't have the money or the power to really do something about the injustice and those that do, don't do anything meaningful either.

I tried it, just for a week. We didn't buy any newspapers, watch or listen to any news and I actually felt peaceful.

No doubt there are still atrocities happening but I was blissfully unaware of them. And actually able to sit back and enjoy my life, where luckily, for now, nothing bad is happening.

I intended it to only be for a week, but I think I will purposely create a little bubble of ignorance in our home forever. Wibu?

HeadMeetSand Thu 15-Dec-16 20:45:17

MIL says we will be ignorant and seen as stupid.

formerbabe Thu 15-Dec-16 20:47:05

I definitely think those who don't read or watch the news seem happier. Ignorance is bliss.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 15-Dec-16 20:50:55

The children are still dying whether you know about it or not. But as long as you keep donating what you can and doing what you can, whether you feel bad or not doesn't actually matter.

However, the first thing fascism needs is an uncaring and uneducated populace.

baconandeggies Thu 15-Dec-16 20:52:12

YANBU. I sometimes think there should be a watershed for the most distressing news items on TV & radio. Or at least a warning so I can turn the radio down for a few mins.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 15-Dec-16 20:52:16

Things do change BTW. "Sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest rate of child mortality, lowered its under-five mortality rate by 48% since 1990."

Smartleatherbag Thu 15-Dec-16 20:53:21

Yanbu. Switch off. We're completely powerless really.

FuckingHellz Thu 15-Dec-16 20:57:25

YADNBU! I've not watched the news for ages and I'm much happier without the scaremongering. It just made me live in fear when in fact all that actually matters is NOW, the present moment.
<going through a very spiritual time>

HeadMeetSand Thu 15-Dec-16 20:57:45

I still intend to keep my dd donations up.

I've just felt that I've gotten to the point where being ignorant is a small price to pay for being happier.

I just don't think Mr (or Mrs) fascist dictator is going to give a crap if 'Mrs Smith of Woodland Drive' is wailing about them or not.

I just feel that I can't do anything, not really.

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 20:58:20

It's better what you do,

I'm sometimes scared how numb I've become to human suffering. I guess a bit comes from my education and job... and high school... but yes, I think your sentiments are admirable.

HeadMeetSand Thu 15-Dec-16 20:58:40

Great, I felt like we'd be the only ones doing this!

It definitely made me happier.

PhoenixJasmine Thu 15-Dec-16 20:59:06

Your MIL sounds a peach hmm. Obviously you should value 'how you're seen' above your own happiness!

It sounds like distressing news stories have a significant impact on your emotional & mental health, so it seems eminently sensible to do something about it. Minimise exposure, for sure. Reading newspapers and listening/watching news broadcasts every day are not compulsory. However - it's not realistic to expect your safety bubble not to be burst from time to time. So given the degree of anxiety these things cause you it might also be an idea to work on your anxiety management and explore why you feel so much of an obligation to expose yourself to things that distress you so significantly.

FWIW I consume a lot less news media than I used to, and have become a lot more sceptical about how 'news' is presented to the public and with what agenda. It had not made me ignorant and I'm definitely not 'seen' as stupid (I like to think quite the opposite!) I still watch documentaries and research issues that interest me, I listen to factual radio programmes and if I'm in the car in the morning will often put the Today program on R4 which is where most of the news happens anyway grin. BUT I don't feel I HAVE to do these things all the time, and it's perfectly ok and in fact preferable to spend time focusing inwards. Tonight I have classical music on the radio, and am curled up with my pets, few candles on and alternating between MN and my book. Nice relaxing little bubble and it's making me happy.

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 20:59:31

One of the few things that still make me shudder are homeless peoples. Probably because you actually see them, wonder about giving them money (are they going to use it for drugs?) or asking them whether they'd like you to buy them food.

BackforGood Thu 15-Dec-16 21:00:56

I think YABU.
People often feel they can't do anything, but surely being aware and trying to do something is better than just ignoring / pretending something doesn't happen.

Oly5 Thu 15-Dec-16 21:03:17

I watch the news to make sure I keep on caring/keep on donating/keep on trying. The news on Syria has really got me. I WANT to know about what's going on so I keep doing things that try to make a difference, however small. The people of Syria NEED the world to see their suffering through news

HeadMeetSand Thu 15-Dec-16 21:07:09

It has been getting to me a lot more lately.

All the awful stories seemed to be crowding my head, jostling around for attention, to the point I couldn't just focus on day to day life and was becoming miserable.

This week has been lovely, I've been able to play with my two small children and not imagine them being blown up/taken away from me etc.

I understand it will never be true ignorance, bits will always get through, but I don't want to feel like I have to spend hours reading/learning about them.

HeadMeetSand Thu 15-Dec-16 21:08:30

I convinced myself that I 'needed' to but on reflection, little me (or even a thousand people like me) can't make much lasting difference at all.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 15-Dec-16 21:10:03

I was talking to DD yesterday about Aleppo. I showed her a few (heavily censored) pictures of children there. I worried about her feeling, whether it was OK. Then I thanked my lucky stars that the major trauma for my child is feeling a bit sad looking at pictures of children in a rubble-strewn war zone that she will hopefully never experience.

I do understand if people have anxiety or something but I also feel that shutting our eyes is, I don't know, insulting? Minimizing? Of people's pain and suffering.

BolivarAtasco Thu 15-Dec-16 21:11:59

People who say 'oh, I never read the news, it's too depressing' infuriate me.

No-one's expecting you to have an in-depth synopsis of what's happening in Syria, but to refuse to even have a basic understanding of what's going on in the world or even your own country in case it upsets your chakra (or something) is one of two things:

1. You are so insular and thick, you don't give a toss.
2. You are unable to cope with real life and use a disregard for news to hide it and pretend everything is nice everywhere.

It's a good job we don't all turn a blind eye to everything going on in the world because we can't be bothered to think about it.

HeadMeetSand Thu 15-Dec-16 21:20:36

That's a little mean. I don't think I'm thick and it's not that I don't care.

I'm one person. I've done all I can to make a difference and it's amounted to very little.

I used to tell myself I needed to feel pain, to feel miserable, it's the least I could do.

But I cang help, not really. Blankets, bit of money, signing petitions, marching. It's nice but does fuck all in the grand scheme of things if your county keeps going to war/ home is blown up/ government is corrupt/ culture of animal cruelty/ insert problem here.

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 21:24:50


That's awful.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 15-Dec-16 21:29:42

But it does do something. It really does. Child mortality is down. Childhood vaccinations are up massively. We have almost eliminated lots of horrible diseases.

When that poor little boy died on that beach I went to a meeting about refugees and the church was packed out. They had never seen so many people. They raised money and found sponsors and families are live now that wouldn't have been.

In the 1980s there were homeless youth all over London. In the late 1990s there were next to none. Then we took our eye off the ball and the homeless are back. But those housed youth from the 1990s were still housed! Their lives are better!

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 15-Dec-16 21:32:19

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. From the Talmud.

Just because the bad keeps coming, doesn't mean the good we do is worth nothing.

1horatio Thu 15-Dec-16 21:34:45


That's lovely. Even makes a cold hearted bitch like me feel some fuzzy warmth.

PhoenixJasmine Thu 15-Dec-16 21:38:30

Oh fuck off Bolivar, what a horrible post, just because someone may have a different approach to news media than you do does not make them insular, thick or 'unable to cope with real life'. Your opinion that it does makes you sound insular and thick though.

You know what, sometimes people do have difficulty coping, with lots of things that others don't struggle with. And that's ok. It doesn't make them weak. Recognising how things impact on us and taking steps to improve our own functioning are healthy, sensible things to do. OP has had a much more productive week, and been able to enjoy precious time with her children, by taking a step back from the 24hr news cycle culture. That's a good thing.

OP, you are showing some all-or-nothing, black-and-white thinking about the issue though.

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