How to Consciously Consume the News
By: Tajiya Holland
Slamming on your breaks suddenly when the car in front of you stops or uncomfortably preparing yourself for the unexpected walking down a deserted street are scenarios we associate fight or flight with. According to Harvard Health, fight or flight is a survival mechanism driven by hormonal changes and physiological responses to stressful situations. Therefore when consuming the news, what do we need to fight or flee from?
We don’t know until we read or watch it. As humans, to protect ourselves, we need to be informed. Factors such as personality, experience, and cultural setting, are a few that play a role in the ways we respond to the information. Learning about specific affairs can affect us emotionally and socially, especially with the amount and speed at which we are exposed to them. Here are a few ways to control how you consume and digest the flooding news media.
Limit your intake
We all have been down the rabbit hole of reading a story and instantaneously clicking on to the next and the next. Viewing a 30-second segment of an account and immediately googling to learn more, only looking up from your device 30 minutes later. Setting an alarm to remind yourself, “that’s enough” is an easy task and solution. Just be sure to call it a quits and enjoy the rest of the day.
Purposefully source and curate
Whether broadcasted or written based, choose a few platforms and stick to them. When deciding, think back on what you have witnessed in the past to determine if you enjoy the delivery style. You may prefer one to be direct or one that produces more playful content. Some companies also provide daily or weekly email newsletters to deliver a rundown of various categories.
Be mindful of when you consume
Read the headlines and consider your sensitivity to the material. The content could disrupt your mood, and it may be best to save it for a later date. If particular topics make you feel worrisome or unsafe, news intake before bed is not a suggestion, as being calm and relaxed promotes a good night’s sleep. Although it is tempting to check on the latest during a lunch break, negatively affecting your productivity for the workday is not ideal.
Spread the good news
We are equipped to solve the wrong and problems of the world knowing that good exists! Some good news could be constructive pieces that give solutions to issues at hand or lighthearted content. Either would present uplifting perspectives of our day and the world around us. Also, seek out platforms that share the latest buzz on industries you find amusing, such as sports, food, art, etc. Reveal yourself to uplifting stories and discuss them with others.
The reportings of natural disasters, social injustices, war, and health crises on a non-stop basis can lead audiences to stress and hopelessness. But with mindful tactics in place, there is no need to turn a blind eye to it all. The news can be resourceful without the overwhelming uneasiness. Look for the stories that alleviate, provide resolutions, and create encouraging change.