Why you need a break from tabloid news
I just got off the phone with my mother. We were talking about the loop of negative information on the news. I can not remember how long ago it was, maybe within the last six or seven years, I stopped watching the news. I do try to keep up to date, but honestly, not that much. I’m often out of the loop, when it comes to current events. At this stage, my Apple TV, is only turned on when it’s time to watch a movie, or the latest episode of Star Trek Discovery.
In fact, I don’t have a TV set up at home, just my projector. That makes it even less attractive to have random programs running during the daytime, as it is too bright from the daylight in living room. At work, we have a TV running pretty much all day, and often it is the news playing, which I switch off whenever possible. I can feel the negative energy being pumped in to me. I can not remember the last time I heard something positive from the news. I have no doubt there are fun and interesting stories, but not enough that I find it motivating me to watch more.
As we spoke about the news, family, and the documentary The Social Dilemma, I pointed out that negative information is attractive for many people. Which is probably why they show so much of it. I reminded my mother that she can affect what comes up on her social media feed, by marking certain posts as “not interested”, and only liking posts she would like to see more of.
Having spent the last twenty years learning about psychology and motivation, it has become clear to me, how important the information we put in our heads, affects our mood, and our perception of the world. Once you understand how much of what is going on in our brains and bodies unconsciously, you start to realise that things you have seen or heard, even if you don’t believe them, still have some effect on your way of viewing the world.
Advertisers, marketers, and people creating games and social media platforms know this. So, we spend most of our days being nudged in one direction or another, by what we see and hear, with the intention for us to use our money on the one thing or another.
What can we do to take back control? It is very unlikely, that the average person is going to be able to ignore being nudged or primed by advertisers…