For 10+ years I had a successful mortgage business and constantly monitored the news and stock market. I read The Wall Street Journal, local newspapers, news journals and online reports. I kept up-to-date on anything that might affect housing rates and the economy. As much as I loved my work, I found I was constantly being barraged with bad news and horrific events. Some days I felt down right depressed and unhappy. I noticed on the days I was out of the office and not glued to the news, that I was happier.
I began to realize that most news wasn’t real news; it was whatever the media decided to report that day. On the same day, I would find opposing reports about the market, housing and interest rates. This was frustrating because I was supposed to help people make good decisions and getting clear and correct information was difficult.
I started to change the channel when the news came on. I cancelled my subscriptions to the newspapers. I would scan the online news headlines in the morning and at night and if anything looked important, I would read it. I started to find I could do my job just as well without the constant negativity and I was a lot happier more often.
After I closed my mortgage company, I got rid of my TV and now, I look at the headlines once a day, if that. I don’t miss TV, in fact, when I am around one I find that most of it is senseless and boring. I would much rather read a book, listen to some music or connect with a friend.
Lately I’ve been wondering how TV might relate to the happiness level of people. I have several friends that keep up with the latest news on food, terrorism, politics, catastrophes, etc. I find that the more I discuss these things, the less happy I am. “Ignorance is bliss”, is definitely true! In fact, I found a few articles, online, that talk about anxiety and depression go hand-in-hand with binge watching TV.
Here are a couple of links:
I remember once when I was a reserve firefighter, we got a call for a woman in her fifties with an elevated heart rate. In talking to her, it turns out she was watching stock market news just before and the market was not doing well that day and she had a pension that was severely affected. When her heart rate became normal, we told her husband to take her to the hospital and get checked out as a precaution since she had never experienced this before.
As an experiment, try not watching the news for a week and see how you feel. If you get really brave, try not watching TV at all for 3 days and see what effect it has on you.
I can say from my own experience that not having a TV has made me more productive, less anxious and a much happier person!