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News Fast?

I have been reading Weil's 8 Weeks to Optimum health. Lots of good ideas, lots of it basic common sense. But one jumped out at me-- his suggestion to go on a "News Fast" for a day. The idea is not to become uninformed, but by limiting exposure you limit the negative emotions associated with it. Ignorance is bliss indeed!

Sat. May 13, 11:03am

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i never listen to the news but am very imformed from my clients at my salon..i think that is right no the news is soooo negative

Saturday, May 13, 2006, 2:06 PM

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I think one day without news would hardly lead to ingnorance.

Saturday, May 13, 2006, 6:22 PM

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I recommend the news fast

I made this change a few years ago, and it really helped me. I don't watch TV either. I do listen to NPR and the BBC when I'm driving, so I have a basic idea what's going on.
When you take a break from CNN etc., you'll be shocked when you see it again. It's all either irrelevant bs or death and destruction from around the world. Although yes, we are part of a global community, I don't think it's healthy to be getting the gory details of all the strife and suffering from all 6 billion people in the world every day -- there is inevitably something awful somewhere. You can still care, and more importantly vote/act appropriately, without feeling terrible about it all every day. And BTW, before an election I read up on everything carefully anyway. I particularly don't miss the baby-eaten-by-an-alligator or gruesome-murder type of news. Maybe I'm too sensitive -- but maybe the usual 24-7 horror is DEsensitizing everybody else.
Moreover, since when does passively watching the news actually help fix anything? If anything, I often feel the govt uses the media to manipulate us into accepting the wrong things they do.
Anyway, I try to focus on learning about things that relate to what I actually have power over in my life -- there's plenty of that to keep me busy!

Saturday, May 13, 2006, 6:50 PM

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I've been all over the spectrum on news. I can remember being shocked at the local news after a particularly long hiatus out of the country. I have become very careful about where I get my information. I read the Christian Science Monitor and listen to NPR and BBC news on public radio. After years as a news junkie, I consider those sources to be as unbiased as you get. Whether someone is engaged in the world around them is a personal matter. I know some wonderful people who work hard to make the world a better place and don't know the names of the US senators from their state.

Saturday, May 13, 2006, 10:02 PM

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i'm on a permanent news fast. there's something wrong with me. i might be able to do the complete opposite and actually look at the news for once. what would that do for me? i live in a bubble. I'm not proud of it, but it's totally true@!

Saturday, May 13, 2006, 10:48 PM

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I'm not on a permanent news fast but I have been on a TV fast for the last 6 years and let me tell ya that's been the best thing I ever did. Personally I don't think it's news that's depressing - it's TV news. TV news is aweful - one set of horrid images after the other until accident scenes, police tape and dead bodies look normal. Minor stories are completely oversensationalized (particularly the local news stations) and major international events are completely ignored. CNN rehashes the same 4 stories over and over and goes from one major disaster to another. I would daresay that by getting my news from a variety of non-televised sources that I select and seek out (NPR, BBC, Economist, etc), I get a much better and more varied heaping of it than most. I find I am much better educated on world news, politics and current events than my TV-watching friends.

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 1:07 AM

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Try BBC radio and NPR online. They have streamline news and it's a nice break from the over sensationalized media that's on TV and most of the papers. Plus, you can listen to it while doing other things... like working out, etc.

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 3:37 AM

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to the poster who said that NPR and the BBC are as "unbiased as you get"-- lol. Every news station has a bias. I think the NY Times is a great paper, but it has a clear bias to the left. I work in the markets and read Investors Business Daily, but they have a clear bias to the right. I don't buy into any left or right identity, but I certainly am aware of the slant of the news source. Because bias exists, and thank god, because you have to have different perspectives battling back and forth.

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 8:11 AM

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I totally agree with NPR and BBC it is pretty much unbiased and doesn't have all that celebirty crap also.
I totally disagree with the 5:34 poster that says not watching the news for a few days is inexusable, I love it when I go on vacation outside the US and I can let my mind wonder and not worry about the rest of the world. My brother was out reach of any news (camping in the wilderness) even during 911 and he managed without any news.

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 9:00 AM

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there are 2 sides to this:

On the one hand, I agree that ignoring the news completely makes you a LOT happier. I had a horrific experience in the lead up and during the first year of the American/British invasion of Iraq, where I was reading about it all the time and crying and feeling sick about what was happening in my name.

On the other hand, we are responsible for a lot of what is happening. I suspect it is precisely because a lot of us are ignoring the news that this Invasion or the governments tapping of phones nationwide were allowed to happen.

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 9:26 AM

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By the way - I don't think the medium makes a difference. I have the BBC as my homepage on the internet and otherwise I read the papers in our lounge in campus -- so it's not the TV images that would be upsetting me, since I don't see much TV (we don't have cable - local news just tells me that one person is murdered every day in my city, which I would know without watching it: it's a certainty in this city).

It's not the images that are disturbing. It's the facts of what is happening and the creepy lies and hypocrisy of the people in power that made me ill.

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 9:30 AM

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that was an interesting last post, I guess it depends on how you respond. My political friends get upset about the news no matter what. My friends who were hard core republicans were bonkers over clinton, and my friends who are democrats are bonkers over bush. it does make for good theater.

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 9:44 AM

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I usually watch the morning news in the background as I'm getting ready for work as well as a little of the evening news at night. I also listen to NPR/BBC and the local news network on the radio.

I totally agree with the fact that you CAN get a news overload-- on the days following 9-11, we were glued to our TV for 2 days. Then we had to shut it off, because the repeated broadcasting of that tragedy got to be too much and all I could do was to cry when I saw the images.

This is also the same reason that I will NOT go to see the movie Flight 93. With something so traumatic, why should I subject myself to this yet again? It is too soon in my opinion (yes, it's not an actual documentary, but a MOVIE, but since it's based upon an actual event, I will choose not to watch it.)

I also do not attend scary movies, because I know that they will affect me and scare me.

What happens in terms of news is that because of my job, I NEED to be informed. I work an a place where current events are important to what I do.

However, If I start to feel over-stimulated because of a news station re-broadcasting some horrific incident over and over again, I just turn my radio or TV to a different station. Once or twice about something is enough, but I really don't need to over-stimulate myself by repeatedly hearing about something mentally distressing to me....

I'm political, but not crazed about my politics. I have found that limiting my TV / news consumption has allowed for more time to do other things.

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 11:47 AM

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i NEVER watch the news!!! No way, you have no choice as to the crap you will have to listen too only to have a 30 second spot on the things that really matter. I prefer to get my news from the newspaper or internet sources. and i don't feel guilty or uninformed if i take a break for a couple of days or even a week from staying on top of things!

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 2:10 PM

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I have started watching a lot more Comedy Central, endless Entourage episodes. I watched 1 minute of the CBS news last night by accident, i'm still recovering ;)

Monday, May 15, 2006, 9:04 AM

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Passive news watching

"Moreover, since when does passively watching the news actually help fix anything? If anything, I often feel the govt uses the media to manipulate us into accepting the wrong things they do. "

Being abreast with current events helps you form your own opinions and make informed decisions say during elections or choosing a car. If you don't follow current events, the only way you learn about things around is either in church cermons or because your friends think the candidate/car is cool (think Ralph Nader in 2000).

Monday, May 15, 2006, 1:55 PM

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I love The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Jon Stewart and the other writers are brilliant!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 8:22 PM

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well i still think ralph nader is cool regardless of what any of my friends think or thought then.

were the people who elected bush to office reading/watching the news? because if that's the case, then i'm definitely recommending people avoid the news on a regular basis!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 11:13 PM

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there was an interesting poll I heard of on NPR. Of the die-hard Bush supporters (he has a 31% approval rating) 50% of them got their news from one source (like Fox) and 50% said they did not follow the news. Make your own conclusions

Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 7:18 AM

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I think Colbert report is hillarious. On my Cable, Fox News and Comedy channel are right next to each other. I like flipping channels between them, you'd think Bill O'Reilley show was written by Comedy Central ppl. Funny, but sad to realize many ppl take him seriously.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 10:20 AM

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