Why I Avoid Watching The News

BBC News

The more I travel the world, the more it makes me want to avoid watching the news.

When I’m abroad I barely ever have the time to watch TV or read newspapers, and perhaps I feel like my life is happier for it. Instead of being fixated on the negative things that are going on in the world, I am focused on my own everyday reality, and the positive things directly around me. In my efforts to think differently, I feel like if I avoid the news, I feel much more positive and I also think for myself.

I just spent 4 months traveling Asia and Australia, and when I returned to the UK a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but notice how fixated everyone is on the news over here. It has become ingrained in our every day existence. People read the morning paper with their cup of coffee, they talk about the news headlines when they get to work, they switch on the news while they’re eating dinner.

I actually had to turn the TV off, because I felt I was being bombarded with depressing stuff.

Why is it that BAD news, is GOOD news?

Why does bad news have to make up the bulk of things we hear about? Anything positive or upbeat always has to end up in the “and finally…” section at the end.

I understand the importance of freedom of the press. I get that it’s essential we question the action of governments and inform people of issues and problems. But when I see the news it often makes the world seem like a dangerous, scary place full of violence and crime.

When I go traveling, I realise that the world can actually be a POSITIVE place. 

The news is a round-up of what’s going on across the globe, and usually the extreme stuff. It can’t possibly give an accurate depiction of what life is like for your everyday person. That just wouldn’t be news.

The world is NOT AS SCARY as the news would have you believe. On my travels I have experienced the kindness of strangers, and moments that make me realise how incredible human beings are.

When I told my Mum I was going to Cambodia I received a text from her saying; “Isn’t it dangerous?” When I went to New York she said; “Be careful, don’t people get shot there?” When I told my friends I was going to Israel, their first reactions were; “Aren’t there rockets and bombs going off all the time?” When I contemplated traveling by Greyhound bus around the USA, I was quickly informed of a horrific incident that happened on the Greyhound somewhere in Canada.

Wherever I announced I am going, someone can relay a bad story that they have seen on the news.

Bad things happen in countries all over the world, including my own country. Admittedly, some places at the moment pose a significantly higher risk than others. However many a time I have found myself thinking; “This country is not how I imagined it to be from the TV”. People are not their governments. On the whole I have had very positive experiences traveling solo, and I have learnt that most people are just like you or I.

It’s fine to watch the news, but don’t let it make you fearful of seeing the world. It’s an incredible place!

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15 Responses to Why I Avoid Watching The News

  1. Gloria April 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    You are so right. No matter where I plan to travel, I can almost guarantee there will be something negative in the news just shortly before I leave. And then all the well-meaning friends and relatives will tell you just how dangerous it is. I don’t know if it is real concern for me or just a feeling that they wish they could do it. Definitely ignore the news before heading off somewhere. Unfortunately you can’t avoid family and friends, just try to avoid the subject.

    • Victoria April 8, 2013 at 12:41 am #

      Yeah sometimes I wonder if it’s a way for friends/family to tell themselves that that’s why they’re not doing it.

  2. John April 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Was just thinking the other day that Facebook is getting almost just as bad. Everytime I logon, it seems I find out someother terrible story which has just occured. You just can’t escape it unless you shut yourself off from all forms of media.

    • Victoria April 8, 2013 at 12:49 am #

      Yep these days news comes from everywhere…twitter, facebook etc. often i hear about things through facebook first.

  3. Teo April 8, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Yes, things happening around us can significantly change our mood and demoralize us.. good to avoid!

    • Victoria April 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

      In my experience, best to hang around positive people, and positive things. it’s the law of attraction

  4. Kristin Addis April 8, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Completely agree. It’s so much better to just leave the TV off as much as possible! It has been nice getting away while traveling.

  5. Gloria April 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Unfortunately, Kristan, many people do not “get away” at all. They look for places with wi-fi, they stay connected on FB or Twitter, etc. In other words, they defeat the purpose of getting away. I try to avoid taking all my portable devices with me whenever I can and really delve in to the local culture.

  6. Micamyx|Senyorita April 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    I agree with everything you mentioned here. The news reports are quite depressing and stops a lot of people from going out because of the safety issues. It is the reason why i only stick to the entertainment section lol

  7. Andy April 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    So true, I have found some of my best experiences travelling have come in countries that have been involved in serious conflicts in our lifetime. For me Bosnia and Colombia have been two of the most rich and rewarding trips yet most people would look horrified at the thought of going there. Even leaving the US I was questioned for several minutes about why I would want to go to Colombia, and the questioning was directed towards ‘you must be a drug trafficker’. Is sad for the people of these countries, who are trying to evolve tourism but are constantly tarnished by the media for past events.

  8. cristina April 9, 2013 at 2:03 am #

    I actually left my TV job because of this. Working in news for so many hours a day I felt a heavy weight of negativity on me when I got home. We reported on terrible stories for some reason our viewers were fixated on. It’s also the reason I made the switch to online media and travel writing. There is so much goodness in this world we haven’t discovered!!

    • Gloria Grove April 9, 2013 at 4:44 am #

      Christina, I applaud your courage. It cannot be easy to switch like you did. There truly is so much goodness out there and we need to make an effort to let others know about it.

  9. Sarah April 9, 2013 at 5:23 am #

    In America, there are some news stations that work my nerves for ignoring what’s going on in the rest of the world. They pick one tragedy and ram it into the ground, say the Sandy Hook shooting, and will analyze it and over expose it for days on end. “What did the second lieutenant investigator have for lunch before he went in for investigation…” It’s almost more depressing. They give too much attention to something horrid and neglect other world news. Skydive across Australia & New Zealand with FreemanX Tandem Skydiving

  10. Jack Turner April 15, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    That’s an incredibly naive and ignorant way to live your life. But good luck to you.

    Cheers,
    Jack

  11. Becki | BackpackerBecki April 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    Agreed. Although sometimes when I hear too much negativity about a place it makes me want to go more to see if what people say is really true!

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