Roughly a year ago, amidst the constant headlines concerning President Donald Trump and the stream of news surrounding the Russia probe, I began to research what has now become a fascinating area of discussion for me. It seemed, with all these bad news headlines, that viewers were never getting a glimpse at the good in this world. It seemed, though I knew it could not actually be true, that nothing in this world was happy or joyful. So I pondered on this for a while and realized the consequences of this negative news.
In January 2018, Markham Heid published a Time health article titled “You asked: Is It Bad for You to Read the News Constantly?” In the piece, Heid reported statistics from the American Psychological Association, which stated that “More than half of Americans say the news causes them stress, and many report feeling anxiety, fatigue or sleep loss as a result.”
No doubt are those anxiety, sleep-altering news headlines, the same that sparked my research into this topic. It just is not psychologically possible to take in so much horror and tragedy, yet still, maintain a clear conscience.
I have experienced it first-hand numerous times throughout the past year. Should I wake up to headlines of great news and positivity, I shall approach the day with that same enthusiasm and inspiration.
Yet, should I wake up to hear about random shootings, how “untrustworthy” our White House is, and be reminded one last time that our country is not quite as inclusive as we pride ourselves to be, my enthusiasm will vanish as I accept the inevitable despair.
American statesman and retired four-star general Colin Powell said, “Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age,” which speaks on the permanent stain these headlines are leaving on our daily lives. It is essential to be informed, but not at the cost of our sanity. When it comes to the point where all we witness are senseless acts of violence and stories to make us shudder, that act of being “informed” dissipates and can cause even the most innocent of human beings to become cynics.
I also feel responsible for stating that I am in no way bashing the news. I generally watch it every other day and switch it off when it gets to the ugly headlines. In this way, I am staying informed about what I need to know, while also censoring what enters my brain. On a final note; I am only eighteen. I think there is plenty of time in the future for me to become a cynic, but not just yet.