r/science Oct 15 '21 Silver 13 Helpful 15 Wholesome 17 Hugz 10 All-Seeing Upvote 1

News avoidance during the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with better mental well-being Psychology

https://www.psypost.org/2021/10/news-avoidance-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-is-associated-with-better-mental-well-being-61968
63.2k Upvotes

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u/Aromatic_Ant4886 Oct 16 '21 Hugz

I like being informed, but the 24/7 network news cycle is worth avoiding

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u/Ok-Travel-7875 Oct 16 '21

Finding as neutral of a source as possible and avoiding doomers leads to the best mental health outcomes, imo. Reading about news on reddit is only good for a laugh but that's about it.

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u/TheDoctor100 Oct 16 '21

News on Reddit only either makes me mad or sad. And you really really have to be careful about getting your news from here too. I try to avoid news on Reddit any more.

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u/Durgals Oct 16 '21 Wholesome

This exactly. I've been guilty of reading headlines and jumping to conclusions after reading the first ~3 top comments.

Lately I've tried reading the article, looking up other news sources covering the same stories, and asked others their opinion/for their sources. It's a bit of work, but it feels good not jumping to conclusions like I used to.

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u/AcceptableGovernment Oct 16 '21

I think being aware of one's own biases is healthy because it allows you to take a step back and reevaluate. Importantly it can help prevent getting too emotionally worked up over nothing.

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u/sust8 Oct 16 '21

Same here - so bad. And I’ll even skip the article. I’ll read the headline and then the top comments. I’m literally doing that right now. But I have the news on way too much at home. First thing in the morning, it’s on. Then around 6 when I’m cooking dinner for family - same. Then again sometimes later. And I’ve lost count how many times it’s made me angry. I gotta stop.

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u/USSZim Oct 16 '21

News on Reddit is heavily biased due to the voting system. Once the narrative in the comment section is established it pretty much stomps out any meaningful discussion

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u/jcb088 Oct 16 '21

Reading rational comments like this is cathartic.

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u/choosingtangent Oct 16 '21

Part of the fun is establishing your position early on in a thread... then watching it all burn.

There is a cathartic component to watching the tone of the comments change with the addition of differing amounts of crazy.

Reddit is definitely not the place to get news; however, it is a fantastic source of never ending entertainment and duncery

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u/Woffle_WT Oct 16 '21

I'm currently researching an essay on this topic, and I was wondering if I could get your feedback. You said you really have to be careful about getting your news, what's that look like for you on a daily basis?

Cheers.

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u/AVALANCHE_CHUTES Oct 16 '21

Reuters, BBC, the economist, WSJ or NYT (but avoid op eds)

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u/CML_Dark_Sun Oct 16 '21

Neutral isn't the same as objective. Facts can be more favorable to one side, that doesn't mean that they aren't facts.

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u/arizonadreamin Oct 16 '21

What would you suggest? I stick to Reuters, which I find very neutral and objective, and it’s still depressing as hell.

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u/Ok-Travel-7875 Oct 16 '21

There's this which I find to be pretty good. Gives a good general idea of what's going in and is generally well sourced.

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u/VaATC Oct 16 '21

I never even knew that existed. Thank you for the link to that portal. Excellent run down of international events that are laid out nice, neat, and to the point. It is nice that they provide some links but only time, and enough usage, will tell if their 'link choice practices' are as neutral and varied as the portal bullets seem to be. Even if they are not there is nothing stopping anyone from researching one of the bullets past the provided links. I will now be looking at this page a few times a week.

Thank you much, again!

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u/agreeingstorm9 Oct 16 '21

Top stories are a political assassination and a fire that killed 46 people. That's not depressing at all.

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u/SchwiftyMpls Oct 16 '21 edited Oct 16 '21

Not very uplifting either. If foreign people getting killed is your jam it's ok I guess.

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u/arizonadreamin Oct 16 '21

Wow, that’s seriously not too negative

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u/Jordaneer Oct 16 '21

AP and actually Al Jazeera English are both pretty good

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u/NeedsSomeSnare Oct 16 '21

Reuters and the BBC are both good for their actual news stories. However, opinion pieces and editorials should be taken just as that and need to be scrutinized a little more.

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u/arizonadreamin Oct 16 '21

I used to really like BBC. I can’t even remember specifically what turned me off of it, but I remember getting frustrated with some bad foreign policy reporting and eventually quit reading it in like 2013 or so. I might have to give it another try since I used to be a big fan.

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u/churm94 Oct 16 '21

A common saying is that the BBC is great at reporting on anything that doesn't have to do with British stuff, ironically enough.

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u/mrnotoriousman Oct 16 '21

AP and NPR are my favorites for most neutral on to of Reuters

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u/Tarukun564 Oct 16 '21

The best thing about NPR is that their news is broken up by interviews and other segments that are interesting and not just furthering a narrative about a few handpicked headlines. You get 5-10 minutes of regular news, followed by 20+ minutes of interviews about literature, art, music, science, cooking, whatever - and often they speak to actual experts about the news (not just pundits.)

That’s listening to their station, of course. Idk anything about reading their website.

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u/Insectshelf3 Oct 16 '21

reuters and the AP are the most neutral i’ve found

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u/_AlreadyTaken_ Oct 16 '21 edited Oct 16 '21

I'd avoid reading the news on a regular basis in general. The news by its very nature tends to be negative because people want to know what to be afraid of. With worldwide news access and instant communication you can hear about every bad thing happening everywhere and with 7 or so billion people there is guaranteed to be a significant number of bad things happening every day.

Another thing I avoid is reading a lot about an important event early on. I'll read X happened and leave it at that for a few days because it is almost guaranteed that there will be a storm of conjecture, half-baked theories, assumptions, incorrect info, etc at that stage. None of that helps me and it just generates anxiety.

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u/DreamInfinitely Oct 16 '21

Can I interest you in everything, all of the time? A little bit of everything, all of the time?

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u/mtflyer05 Oct 16 '21

Associated Press is also good, for now, but you never know when a source will become polluted because they need money to continue operating.

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u/serpentjaguar Oct 16 '21

All of the wire services --of which Reuters is one, AP another, AFP still another though mostly French language-- have managed the transition to the internet world pretty well for reasons that have to do with how their content is generated and shared across a mixed platform of subscribers/contributors the details of which I will not bore you with.

Suffice it to say that none of the wire services had a revenue model based on things like ad sales, home-delivery subscriptions, classified sales or newsstand sales, so when the internet took all those things away, they weren't directly hit in the same way that say, local newspapers were.

You get a similar thing in public broadcasting, especially with the BBC which is entirely funded by citizen controlled boards in the UK, but also with American orgs like NPR and PBS which rely mostly on citizen donations and therefore weren't killed by the internet either.

As for Reuters or the other wire services, understand that they are a conglomeration of their staff reporters and editors, together with those of any publication that is a subscriber. In essence then, what you see on a Reuters website is typically a collection of stories coming from different subscribers and being published on/over the Reuters "wire" as opposed to a single product coming from a single newsroom.

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u/wolfyr Oct 16 '21

What? No. Reuters and other wire services do their own reporting and sell their news to subscribers. The news on wire services is definitely NOT a collection of stories from different subscribers.

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u/hysterical_landmark Oct 16 '21

All the 24-hour news cycle does is inform you about all the worst and most salacious salacious news from all corners of the globe.

Instead of just local news, good and bad about whats happened in your community and region, It's filtered to be just the worst things ever in a non-stop loop.

If the news weren't blasting you with commercials every few minutes it would have a lot more credibility. The news isn't about the news it's about the ads between the stories. Selling soap basically.

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u/A_Naany_Mousse Oct 16 '21

Have people forgotten we can just read? It's actually the best form of journalism/news/information.

TV news and social media are two sides of the same coin. Outrage factories. Not like all newspapers are perfect but they're miles better than TV news or social media.

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u/[deleted] Oct 15 '21

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u/icomeforthereaper Oct 16 '21 edited Oct 16 '21

Yup. The profit model of the news outlets is driven by sheer volume and algorithms reward engagement above all else. That means if they can scare you or make you angry, they make more money. Remember also that many of these companies including major voices like the new York times have been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy for years now. They have to literally choose between clickbait designed to whip you into a frenzy or closing their doors. Scary times.

Meanwhile, individual long form journalists like Glenn Greenwald and bari wiess are making millions on substack while maintaining 100% editorial control, and podcasters are making millions. It's sad to watch corporate outlets create their little podcasts that are almost always failures.

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u/GoodOlSpence Oct 16 '21

You're the first not removed comment I saw.

What the hell happened in here?

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u/-bluedit Oct 16 '21

The top comments were talking about how this applies to the US election. I guess the mods didn't like that?

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u/Landler656 Oct 16 '21

I know the mods try really hard to keep politics out of this sub. It can be frustrating because a lot of social science posts relating to that topic either directly or indirectly (like this one) end up with large swathes of comments being removed.

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u/Iggyhopper Oct 16 '21

It's really hard when a purely scientific, unbiased, partisan event is unnecessarily turned into a political issue.

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u/duende_hunter_2000 Oct 16 '21

Spoke too soon, what did the comment say?

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u/grassyknollshooter Oct 16 '21

What happened? What was said first?

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u/-bluedit Oct 16 '21

I did a full media blackout on election night, which turned into a full media blackout for about five days. It was a sublime week. Absolute serenity.

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u/bazkie_bumpercar Oct 16 '21

Then I replied about creating a NoNewsNovember 'cause', for which I have now registered a website and a subreddit r/NoNewsNovember. A shame all the comments got deleted!

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u/waltondilcox Oct 16 '21 edited Oct 16 '21

Sub stack is great. Other reasons aside, I feel like digging in to a long form article and getting a deeper understanding of something usually leads to a more nuanced opinion and gives you time to process your emotional response. Reddit and Twitter are great but they can easily lead you into reading just headlines and comments rapid fire, forming I'll informed, black and white opinions faster than it seems you can really process them emotionally.

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u/StandardReflection12 Oct 15 '21

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u/FailedRealityCheck Oct 16 '21

Did they compare the magnitude of the effect with not reading the news during non pandemic times? Because not reading the news is most likely always associated with better mental well-being, pandemic or not.

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u/Driftedwarrior Oct 15 '21

If you avoid the news your mental health well-being will be better. Depending on which stations you watch this will also drastically affect your mental well-being.

Back in 2011 I had family members that were in the news and watching how they skewed everything I have not watched since and I will not again. They have agendas and narratives for this they twist and turn things to cater to the viewing audience. They don't care about your well-being.

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u/stormhunter2 Oct 16 '21 Gold Helpful

One strategy someone suggested recently was utilizing the wikipedia current events portal as stuff is properly sourced.

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u/virtual_star Oct 16 '21

Just keep in mind that being sourced doesn't mean it can't be biased in some instances. There's been some good reporting recently about the cultural and political battles being fought by editors behind the scenes at Wikipeida.

https://www.wired.com/story/one-womans-mission-to-rewrite-nazi-history-wikipedia/

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u/MightyMorph Oct 16 '21

and that even though it provides a clear overview of main stories, the stories can still be incorrect and headlines can misrepresent issues.

for example the Norwegian guy who killed people a couple of days ago, its listed he converted to islam in the reuters article.

some Norwegian papers talked with the actual people he sought out for his switch to Islam, all that happened was 8 years ago he visited a mosque to find people who shared his views, but when the people there didn't respond the way he wanted them to, he stopped going back.

The people there at the mosque wanted to have the police talk to him but since what he talked about wasnt anything violent, or harming others, just seemed to be a very mentally unstable person who needed help. Since there wasnt really any real reason he could give to the police, and since the guy stopped coming back, he just forgot about it and 8 years later this happens, and suddenly some people were like its the mosques fault...

anyways point was headlines dont convey truth. if youre interested in something you will have to deep dive and cross reference facts to find the real facts.

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u/thatboymarlo1017 Oct 16 '21

I just want to say it’s really refreshing knowing people are actively trying to find truth through the smoke screen. Thanks for commenting

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u/Gisschace Oct 16 '21

Also the fact it’s being ‘sourced’ by someone else gives it a bias regardless.

This is why I like Reddit, it still has a bias having been selected by a mainly western audience but you can still cultivate what you read yourself by selecting subreddits

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u/flooshtollen Oct 16 '21

Honestly brilliant, thanks for sharing!

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u/TheStonkmanCometh Oct 16 '21

Wikipedia has been shown to be an incredibly biased source of info too tho.

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u/EventHorizonSurfer Oct 16 '21

This, my uncle was once interviewed by a investigative journalism production in Canada called W5. They edited his words so much that he refused to ever go back on without being allowed to bring his own camera, they never invited him back as a result. He noticed because his shoulder would move a few inches between edits and he saw clear as day that they had chopped his words up to make it sound like he was saying something else. 

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u/SpectreDoggo Oct 16 '21

Is there no grounds to sue over that? Because they would deserve it

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u/financhillysound Oct 16 '21

My family was featured in one of those happy throwaway segments when I wa about 9 years old. The newscaster who came to the house completely staged us to tell the story she wanted, down to the activities we would be filmed doing. She took us to the empty soccer field nearby and showed us how to make daisy chain necklaces then walked away as we were occupied doing that so the camera operator recorded us. We watched the segment & were surprised by how manipulative the entire story felt. Mind you, it wasn’t negative but it was 100% staged.

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u/bihari_baller Oct 16 '21

If you avoid the news your mental health well-being will be better.

I might challenge myself to not read, watch, listen to any news for a year.

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u/iamalsopizza Oct 16 '21 Gold Helpful Wholesome Take My Energy Tree Hug Snek Facepalm 'MURICA Brighten My Day Stonks Falling Pranked! Are You Winning?

I used to not read the news. Was constantly made to feel like an idiot. I was happy, care free, and a pleasure to be around.

I got into my 30s and started reading the news regularly. I hold my own in conversations and generally command more respect.

But I am less happy, more bitter, and the world is less shiny in my eyes.

I miss being more ignorant and silly.

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u/FMeInMySoftStinkyAss Oct 16 '21

This hurts. Happened at 25 or 26 for me

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u/florettesmayor Oct 16 '21

Since I was a teen I wanted to know everything going on. I have had this pit inside of me from news consumption since about 19. Overall I don't regret it though. I'd rather know.

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u/sleepySpice9 Oct 16 '21

Same, I was 19 in 2016 and felt like I had to know what was happening in the world. But in the last year I’ve stopped looking at the news. I assume if something worth knowing is happening, people will talk to me about it (and they do). I feel a lot lighter and happier than I did before not constantly seeing the doom and gloom.

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u/kshep9 Oct 16 '21

I was 30 in 2016 and felt the exact same way. I also stopped paying attention mostly in 2021 and have been happier, but I feel it’s more just a symptom of being fatigued from the constant stream of it. I fear that now is not the time to become apathetic but I just can’t will myself to dive back into it all.

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u/sleepySpice9 Oct 16 '21

I feel you. I try not to be totally apathetic, I’ve just redirected my energy to other things. I can’t do much about the big bad stuff in the world, so I try my best to vote in local elections and pay attention to what’s happening in my community. I feel a lot less burnt out this way.

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u/kosk11348 Oct 16 '21 edited Oct 16 '21

I'd rather know.

Same. If being aware of current events causes depression then maybe it's because current events are depressing. I don't see how being ignorant is any better, or why we should strive to be happy if the circumstances don't warrant it. Maybe it's the happy people who are the psychologically disturbed ones.

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u/PricklyyDick Oct 16 '21

Yupp 2016 was a hell of a drug

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u/KitchenSwillForPigs Oct 16 '21

Yep. I was 22 and I went from not caring much about politics to suddenly caring a whole lot

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u/ShriekinDemon1 Oct 16 '21

I did the opposite. Graduated that spring (17) with a bachelors degree in political science and literally stepped away from the field completely.

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u/Chuhhh Oct 16 '21

Yah, Trump era for you? Trump era for me. I said nahhhhhhh Then I said nahhhhhhh….. THEN I said NAAHAHHHAHHHH!!

And now I’m extra depressed and have deemed the world doomed.

You know in The Sopranos when the son realizes how fucked the world is? It’s like, same.

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u/revile221 Oct 16 '21

Started on 9/11 for me (was 14 at the time). That was a brutal reality check for a lot of young folk

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u/IntrigueDossier Oct 16 '21

Yep. The subsequent “you’re either pro-war or you support 9/11 and the terrorists” rhetoric didn’t help either.

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u/IntrigueDossier Oct 16 '21

World was very much doomed before Trump, he just accelerated things, as did covid.

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u/yk206 Oct 16 '21

Happened to me at 20 when trump turned president. I never really cared about politics/news. But that fucked me up.

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u/sephtis Oct 16 '21

Ignorance is bliss as they say. But it's ultimately better to find a balance, otherwise you stress yourself into an early grave or become an emotionless wreck.

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u/Alexander_the_What Oct 16 '21

I think understanding the very dangerous reality of our world is a must, and more people should be aware of the consequences of their actions in a system that is supported by human slavery, mass animal die offs and carbon emissions that encourage both. It sucks, but being ignorant perpetuates a system of violence to our detriment

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u/ywBBxNqW Oct 16 '21

But I am less happy, more bitter, and the world is less shiny in my eyes.

I think it's better to live with our eyes open even if it sucks.

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u/P3pijn Oct 16 '21

I agree if we are talking about actionable points. But most things you learn in the news you can do absolutely nothing about. So I make sure you can cast a somewhat informed vote, but most of the time I chose happiness over being informed.

Knowing that the world is a horrible place, and I cannot do anything about it, does not help me nor the world in any way.

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u/SoggyFrenchFry Oct 16 '21

"if ignorance is bliss then wipe the smile off my face" - RATM

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u/Boopy7 Oct 16 '21

wow I must start reading their lyrics and listening to them if they wrote that. Everytime I come across a quote I love it's either them or Mark Twain or some great witty writer whose name I never remember.

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u/SoggyFrenchFry Oct 16 '21 edited Oct 16 '21

Apologies but man this seems to come across odd. I would never compare them to Twain but if that's what you've heard alright.

Whether you agree with their viewpoint or not, they... Or their lead singer at least, is very motivated in their message.

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u/Tyston Oct 16 '21

“Commanding respect” is overrated and nothing more than an ego play, and there is plenty to talk about that’s not about how screwed up the world is.

Surround yourself with positive and interesting people and give yourself a chance to be happier.

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u/pointless10 Oct 16 '21

Feels like OP got the wrong takeaway from reading news. I read the news regularly but I'm not pompous about it??? It's just a way to see different perspectives (through op eds and explainers)and keep informed.

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u/towns Oct 16 '21

I don't think they need to be mutually exclusive. I'm surrounded by positive interesting people who all respect each other and expect to be respected by each other. But that respect part is honestly pretty natural

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u/SpeakingClearly Oct 16 '21 Silver

I've always found the less confident in myself that I am, the more empathetic or open to other perspectives that I am. Anytime I've found myself super sure of myself I look back and think I was definitely being rude in some way, even if it was socially appropriate

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u/Dr_Silk PhD | Psychology | Cognitive disorders Oct 16 '21

You can be confident and empathetic in different amounts, they are separate entities. Truly confident people are also empathetic, assholes are confident and unempathetic, the meek are nonconfident and empathetic, and losers are neither

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u/TweektheGeek Oct 16 '21 edited Oct 16 '21

you dont have to become selfish when you are confident in yourself

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u/throwawaythepanda99 Oct 16 '21

There has to be a curve of ignorance and knowing. There comes a time where you know enough and you split to chill, anxious & depressed, crazy or silly.

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u/A_Naany_Mousse Oct 16 '21

I think it all depends on what you read. Reading is infinitely better than watching TV news or even things like NPR.

I tend to prefer news that focuses in macro trends and big picture stories. They're a bit less bleak than the every day doom and gloom that even the best newspapers sometimes churn out.

But also... Books ftw. You don't need to know everything that's going on right this moment. Books give plenty of info.

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u/sirblastalot Oct 16 '21 Take My Energy

Whelp, guess you're gonna have to help fix the world then. Welcome to adulthood.

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u/rogue-elephant Oct 16 '21

Knowledge is power, but at what cost?

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u/_Wince_ Oct 16 '21

Good luck with that

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u/SudoZuko Oct 16 '21

Too real. Take my hand.

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u/insaneintheblain Oct 16 '21

You need to find better people to be around

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u/ticketbroken Oct 16 '21

Has this knowledge helped you? I know that being more aware of things in life is generally a good thing, but is this news relevant to you? There are places in this world where innocent people are being killed every day, but I don't go out and look for news on it because I feel it's not worth getting emotionally involved.

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u/ResponsibilityNice51 Oct 16 '21

Gee, it’s almost like fear and anxiety are great tools. Who owns the news?

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u/DJRoombasRoomba Oct 16 '21

Everything is just SO dramatically over-sensationalized. I understand that some things that have happened the past few years HAVE been dramatic, but news reporting shouldn't have emotion in it. The facts should be reported, and people come to their own conclusions based on it.

Even the picture for the article given in this post- close up of man with a mask on, eyes wide, dark foreboding colors in the background, accented by images of a virus looming dangerously.

It's all designed to provoke you and make you feel and react how the source wants you to feel and react. It's all an agenda.

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u/OldmanReegoh Oct 16 '21

A quick read tells the story, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine. Broadcasters are no longer beholden to impartiality by design. The idea is you should be able to consume your choice of journalism and be able to follow different sources giving news a broader spectrum of views, that was great on paper but here we are.

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u/brmach1 Oct 16 '21

Coming to this realization has been so helpful for me. It’s getting worse and worse.
Still difficult when so many who I interact with are filled with anger driven by the media. It’s sad.

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u/[deleted] Oct 16 '21

News isn’t designed to improve your life. It’s designed to get you to consume more news.

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u/checkcheckering Oct 16 '21

Everyone seems to forget that news companies aren’t there to share information, they’re there to sell advertising, whatever shape that takes

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u/jonhuang Oct 16 '21

Most, yeah. Which is why many of the best ones also make most of their money from subscriptions rather than advertising.

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u/celica18l Oct 16 '21

Had this conversation with my 8yo the other day when he asked about something on the news. Told him to not worry so much to what the news says they are there to report the bad stuff because fear makes people watch the news and that’s what they want.

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u/InvaderDJ Oct 16 '21 Take My Energy

One thing I have noticed and one thing I think that the media and government has been terrible at is contradictory messaging. You can find literally contradictory things said in news and press releases in the same day.

That’s why I’ve preached not reacting to every study and finding that gets a news story. Use common sense (washing hands, not touching mucus membranes, wearing a mask when in crowded areas, getting vaxxed, etc) and let the science work itself out on other stuff. Just because you see one day that masks are effective and the next day that they may not be as effective that doesn’t mean you need to react right away. Give it some time, let things settle and be peer reviewed and time tested. Otherwise you do nothing but stress yourself out and potentially fall into an filter bubble. It’s OK to not know everything.

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u/Insectshelf3 Oct 16 '21

i remember like a month ago when some study was making the rounds on how ivermectin made people sterile.

that headline spread like wildfire, and predictably, was entirely false. it was a decade old study with horrible methodology published in a less than reputable journal. didn’t stop people from reading the headline and assuming it was true.

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u/MeIIowJeIIo Oct 16 '21

News should play an important role, as it has for centuries. The problem now is for-profit news media, and almost no oversight by journalistic standards orgs.

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u/BojackisaGreatShow Oct 15 '21

These are reported numbers without a breakdown of news sources. I'd really like to see the difference between social media and forum based news (reddit), vs. cable news vs. less biased news (reuters, AP, etc.)

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u/Growthiswhatmatters Oct 16 '21

You have to remember that TV has a lot of fluff added. Its way more time consuming and life draining ontop of the drama

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u/TheOnlyAl66 Oct 16 '21

I just want the facts, no “opinion pieces”, or journos interviewing each other about what they think. I’m highly intelligent, well-educated, and don’t need my opinion pre-wrapped for me. Just give me the facts and I’ll make my own conclusions.

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u/FailedRealityCheck Oct 16 '21

But even this is hard to do without bias. There are more "facts" happening around the world than you can consume in a day, so they make a selection. It's even harder to escape because you don't know what they "forgot" to tell you about.

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u/Almighty_Sand_Dollar Oct 16 '21

Messaging from the top political leader in a crisis is critical to either calming people or creating panic.

We had the worst circus on TV and Twitter every single day (sometimes multiple times a day) for a year.

And the media didn't help by running 24/7 banners about COVID.

The very nature of a novel virus means that you don't know much about it. Facts don't change day to day.

Other than infection stats, all the speculation about Lysol for everything and toilet paper shortages made the misinformation problem worse. People want instant answers and there is no satisfaction or Nielsen ratings in "we don't have any updates for a week or two".

It's a paradox because it's important to be aware of current events but there's a toxic threshold people have whose hobby is watching the news.

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u/Zorba_Oyzo Oct 16 '21

That's because the "news" is typically extremely bias fear mongering that (IMO intentionally) does not give you key components of the picture.

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u/None-of-this-is-real Oct 16 '21

On the other hand the BBC in the uk has almost given up on reporting on the pandemic and they have amongst the worst infection and death numbers in the world.

So what I'm saying is don't obsess but also don't be ignorant of the very present danger.

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u/ajaydee Oct 16 '21

That's what I was thinking. Obsessing over bad news is unhealthy, but being uninformed and blindly walking into danger is equally unhealthy.

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u/[deleted] Oct 15 '21

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u/PressurePass Oct 15 '21

My friend lives up in the woods and has been working from home basically since the start of the pandemic. He messaged a group of friends of mine for the first time in months asking if we had all gotten vaccinated. Turns out he had just heard from his work that there was a mandate and was freaking out because he didn't even know there was a vaccine.

Don't ask me how he avoided that news. But he was pretty funny about it saying that people were really mad at him and he didn't understand why.

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u/AlexBucks93 Oct 15 '21

Why people were mad at him? For what?

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u/impulsiveclick Oct 15 '21

Probably for disappearing and not talking to any of his friends for months! XD

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u/Mitch_from_Boston Oct 16 '21

On the flipside, there are still (young, healthy, 0 comorbidities, double-vaccinated)people hesitant to leave their homes in some places.

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u/conchagoteando Oct 15 '21

The irony. To return back to society you must be vaccinated, even if you live in the woods and work remotely without human contact.

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u/paiaw Oct 16 '21

Well, you're re-entering it.

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u/SuedeVeil Oct 15 '21

Yeah I don't know if it's a good thing just to avoid all news and politics etc because it makes you happy. By all means avoid it if it's really screwing with your well being but the average person should be at least a little educated on world news and things that will effect them and their kids and/or future generations. I'm not gonna leave it up to politicians to make decisions without me knowing about it.. we're voting these people in they should be held accountable

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u/PressurePass Oct 15 '21

I think the news is making the average person lose their damn minds.

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u/swagmasterbigcock Oct 16 '21

I appreciate the idea of educating yourself before voting but I’m not sure the news is reliable for that sort of thing, generally.

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u/squintsforever Oct 16 '21

I got vaccinated and stopped paying attention. I couldn’t handle it anymore.

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u/TheStonkmanCometh Oct 16 '21

It’s 90% fear porn at this point. Not even worth watching.

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u/atlien0255 Oct 16 '21

That’s what it was to begin with - not saying at all that Covid hasn’t been terrible. But it’s been fear porn for a very long time.

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u/clamberrypie Oct 16 '21

The pandemic has nothing to do with it. Okay maybe a bit, but only the pandemic-related news. The rest of the news would be soul-crushing at any other time. To think that America is about to Thelma and Louise itself over a cliff is plenty disheartening without the covid issues. I honestly believe I have nothing to look forward to.

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u/CortexCingularis Oct 16 '21

The news also makes people believe things that even metrics that are objectively improving are getting worse, like murder rate and crime.

If it bleeds it leads, and all that.

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u/Shimme Oct 16 '21

Climate change is happening and most studies point to it being one of the "especially bad" outcomes, Western style democracies are being threatened by rising fascist movements, economic prospects for young people in those countries is looking worse and worse, and we are still dealing with a pandemic that's killed millions.

Like, yes of course the news is sensationalist and designed to hook you, but maybe the simple facts suck and if you pay a moderate amount of attention to the world around you, there's good reasons to be upset lately?

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u/[deleted] Oct 16 '21

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u/odraencoded Oct 16 '21

They don't say "ignorance is a bliss" for nothing.

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u/atlien0255 Oct 16 '21

Learn how to balance it. Seek out straightforward, unbiased media sources. Do your research.

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u/1nGirum1musNocte Oct 16 '21

Now look at social media

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u/UnihornWhale Oct 16 '21

After 2016, I made a big effort to be informed and knowledgeable. Now? I’m not wealthy, powerful or influential enough to do much. Having a lot of knowledge for current events does nothing but make me miserable. It reminds me how powerless I am to change things.

I scaled back on my news consumption and I feel better for it. I vote, I’m vaxxed, and I listen to Up First most days. I know enough

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u/viktor-vakorski- Oct 16 '21

Because news media suck

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u/Grassy_Nole2 Oct 16 '21

"News avoidance during the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with better mental well-being"

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u/Stalvos Oct 16 '21

News avoidance all the time leads to even better health.

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u/2moreX Oct 16 '21

Breaking:

Exaggerated fear mongering and panicking is bad for your mental health.

Colour me shocked!

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u/TheHandGlove Oct 16 '21

Seeing less negative makes me less negative. Who would've thought. We live in a society.

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u/Funny_Yesterday_3244 Oct 16 '21

That coronavirus sub was nice in the beginning of the pandemic but quickly became almost a fear porn sub. I feel bad for people who hang out on that sub regularly

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u/gayfalcons Oct 16 '21

I literally deleted my news app and it's improved my life a lot. Information i need to know gets passed along by family and friends, so i really don't feel any less informed.

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u/CacatuaCacatua Oct 16 '21

My personal view is that negative information is useful if it spurs you into productive and useful action to impact the situation.

If you're sitting there consuming information that makes you feel impotent, small, powerless and fearful in a world you can't influence, that's going to have a negative impact on your mental health.