The "no news" thread
This thread is for holding myself accounting during the three-month shit show before the election and beyond.

It seems perverse to not read the news but the standard of journalism has degraded into piss-poor clickbait that I check several times a day for no reason.

I have therefore decided to forgo the news entirely and do something else with my time. I made the inital effort today and I already feel better, even though I still habitually enter the address when bored.

This also holds true for corona updates unless I want to travel somewhere.

This is an update of my existing no porn / no4chan policy, which I have successully implemented for two months.

Anyone care to join?
Good initiative, there is indeed little use to reading 'daily news' sites. I do think reading depth interviews, analysis of longer term events are still useful. It's hard to separate both in practice. I am noticing in a lot of mostly American friends an already very large focus on current events, whether related to corona, riots or the elections.
I’m not going to commit to this, since reading a little news on a few relevant subjects each day adds value to my life, but it sounds like it’s going to be a positive thing for you.

I admire your desire to reduce unnecessary distractions from your life.
I enjoy reading the news or listening to it. For me its the same as watching TV shows or movies, a way to relax. The one exception is political news- I avoid all of that.

But wars, tsunamis, revolutions- all interesting and important stuff to hear about.

It can even be useful when planning trips- currency devaluations and travel bans can lower costs hugely.

But I will reiterate that I am selective in what I consume. No politics. Just topics I choose to learn about when I unwind after work.
(08-26-2020, 08:09 AM)Rottenapple Wrote: Good initiative, there is indeed little use to reading 'daily news' sites. I do think reading depth interviews, analysis of longer term events are still useful. It's hard to separate both in practice. I am noticing in a lot of mostly American friends an already very large focus on current events, whether related to corona, riots or the elections.

Definitely agree with this. I don't read news websites at all, but I read each issue of Foreign Affairs cover to cover, and pay a lot of attention to geopolitics.

Reading books on history helps put things in context as well. A vast majority of news today is just noise.
I started doing this after all of the COVID drama earlier this year. The only news I view is finance news sites related to the markets, but that is a horse of a different color. Mainstream cable "news" is nothing more than toxic, heavily politicized clickbait vitriol designed to arouse an emotional response from its viewers. No thanks.

That being said, I think that local news might be okay depending on where you live and if it interests you.
"I'm not worried if they get pregnant. That is what they are made for. They will figure it out."

-Mister Happy
This is interesting. I already avoid TV news and I don't read papers or magazines. And news/political talk shows I've hated for years now, those are absolute toxic sludge. But I must say I still ingest a lot of news and politics through Twitter, checking news sites when bored (including on phone), and forums. It's not all bad to stay aware of developments, but looking at it honestly, I do still read a lot of stuff that just causes anger, partisan passions, or other negative emotions.

OP, I'll be happy to join you and help with accountability. I will try to avoid news from 1 September till 4 November, the day after the US election. I'd still like to know who'll be president of the US for the next four years.

To fire off the starting gun, I've just unfollowed >100 politicians, journalists, pundits, and others who mainly post (about) news, politics, coronavirus, etc. on Twitter. There are some accounts I follow for lifestyle or other subjects that may post politically. I don't consider stumbling across that kind of thing as "falling off the wagon" unless clicking on their links, reading reply threads, replying myself, etc. But in all honesty I'll probably cut back on Twitter in general because right now I'm only using it passively: reading the content of others and reacting to it.

For sure this is a bit of overkill, but it seems like an interesting challenge to try. I notice I keep thinking and talking about wanting to ingest less of this type of content, yet I keep coming back to it. Coronavirus, Dutch politics, the US election, the course of them will not change regardless of whether I pay attention to it. There's not really a negative trade-off involved as far as I can see.

When unfollowing the Twitter accounts I noticed that while I'll miss a couple of them, many of them are utterly toxic even though I agree with almost everything they say. So it already feels good to be honest.
This is why normies are happier than deep-thinking people. I'd almost rather be a liberal and be blind to the direction everything is headed. It's hard for me to lighten up these days.
The news is bullshit. So is checking the daily Covid rates. Fuck It All!
So churros, how is it going? I've personally spent a little more than a week without the aforementioned news sources (I started a few days earlier than I said I would), and I find it pretty relaxing. Like I said, I avoid news sites, sites offering opinion and punditry, Twitter, political YouTubers, etc. I've never watched much mainstream news or traditional media in the first place, but when you ingest all these "alternative" sources it's still a pretty big time sink, and a time frame where you're ingesting someone else's agenda.

The news that I do get now is stuff I hear from friends, radio bulletins from the guys working on the outside of my house at the moment, some headlines on the side panel when I'm looking up nonpolitical stuff like the ongoing Tour de France, flashes of current affairs on Instagram which I don't bother digging into deeper either, etc. So just a more organic way of hearing about stuff. Then forgetting about it and moving on with life. I think that's the biggest change I make by deliberately avoiding news: I'm naturally an inquisitive person so if I hear about something that interests me, I follow up on it regardless of whether it's actually constructive.

In connection with this, I think probably a big problem in today's world is not so much news itself, but how you can get almost instant updates on everything that's going on everywhere, opinions about that, some guy's hot takes, some other guy's outrage at this, etc. I can see video footage of riots that happened in the US last night, or read about the coronavirus policy of New Zealand and why that's great/shit, and so on and so forth. And I think this is why so many people are so angry and political these days. Because of instant access to far more information, opinion and controversy than what our brains are probably designed for.

I wouldn't advocate shutting off from current affairs forever, but right now it feels good to do a kind of "reset" on a habit that has grown over the years without adding value. Same reason one might want to quit porn, drinking, fapping, smoking, etc. for a month or so and see if any good habits fill the gap and if you really miss the old habit after that, or maybe practise it in a more moderate fashion. In this case, simply ingesting news in the way people used to do, i.e. from friends or business contacts. Or maybe just stick with the one newspaper in the morning, which I would do if there were any in my country still worth the subscription money. Unfortunately for all media there is now an enormous profit motive in maximising outrage and keeping everyone on edge, so you're going to get bombarded with agitprop one way or another, whether it's the paper, the evening news or the internet.

Right now instead of checking a news site or Twitter or something, I'll do any number of different things: crack open a book more often, go for a walk, watch something about history instead of current affairs, watch something about game, etc. Not all of these are super constructive or actionable and can in fact be time sinks in themselves, but for me right now the priority is more to cut out something that is toxic, and figure out how to fill in the gaps later. To simply have more of "I want to do this now, so I'm going to do this" as opposed to "OMG this is going on, somebody said something, let's drop everything we're doing and respond to it".
Not long ago, I decided to not watch the news for a month.   What I found at the end of the month was that nothing happened that I needed to know.  The news is almost totally useless and even harmful to one’s well being.    There is no longer any journalism.  News is controlled by a few corporations.  They push your emotional buttons so that you will watch their advertising.  That is all they care about.   They make mountains out of mole hills , just so eyeballs will look at the ads.  It’s almost completely all fake.  Think of it.  Remember when Islamic fundamentalists were the boggiemen dominating the news and hence your very reality?  Where did they  all go?  Pushed out and unemployed.  Now Covid is your new boggieman.  FAKE, FAKE, FAKE.
I'm enjoying this a lot. If you imagine dopamine pathways like weeds, the tendrils of your brain get wound up with this clickbait garbage.

I feel generally more focused and relaxed, not fretting about multiple minor issues and compulsively checking news websites several times a day. I'm not momentarily enraged by some stupid article a journalist wrote. I no longer have the urge to bitch about this or that journalist.

My ban originally applied to garbage media but I've actually just stopped watching even sophisticated political commentary, just out of desire to avoid it altogether.

Some ho on tinder asked why my profile said apolitical. "Do you not care about lgbt rights, corona, the disabled, fascism... What a privileged stance to take!" It felt good blocking that bitch. I have transcended politics.

If I ever get engaged in future politics in will be through action not passive consumption.
Usually when I travel (for 6 months or longer) I hardly watch any news. When I go back to my home country, there's very little news that's important that I've missed. Most of it, isn't that important.

Sometimes people are surprised that I don't know a local TV show or a local celibrity, but who gives a fuck about that.
People are also surprised that I don't have Instagram, for example.
Man am I glad that the Tour de France is on and the football (soccer for you yankees) is starting again, even with some limited spectator numbers. In the Netherlands the entire season was cancelled with no resumption even after the end of lockdown, so it's been a long wait. I simply refused to watch the other European leagues who played in front of empty stands but with fake crowd noises, except for some Champions League matches which I did see.

You can't entirely avoid the commentators sperging about coronavirus but I'll take some semi-normal sportsball (or sportscycle, I guess) any time. People need their bread and circuses without fucking politics and doom porn mixed in with it 24/7. I am absolutely convinced that the lack of this has contributed to people going nuts. Let's hope we can enjoy it for a while.
I find that when I employ your strategy, I feel more relaxed and clear headed. There is satisfaction in using time more wisely. A news fast reminds me of the same reasons I ditched Facebook over a year ago.

Sometimes I take notes, sometimes I take hostages. It all depends on the day.
Yesterday I broke my pledge and binged on a lot of stupid shit, rona-related of course. It's been hanging in the air for a while. Even when avoiding news, it's hard to ignore the mood is darkening and the subject is being pushed in conversations with people, social media, non-news media, etc.

For example, the sports stuff I mentioned earlier. I was celebrating too soon, because already a new panic is being created about the fact that football supporters like to chant and shout (who would have thought?). Government communication is turning more and more towards "Obey, or else!" Got some chicks bitching about "corona-proof dating" again. Holidays even within the EU are coming into question again, so I have to research corona if I want to travel. So as a result I ended up reading and ingesting a lot more information than I would have wanted to. For example (spoiler alert), the UK going back into semi-lockdown is something I really didn't even want to know about, but here we are.

Luckily this weekend I'm seeing one girl who believes the whole thing is a hoax so should hopefully be more than willing to be inside my house with less than a dick's length between us.

Also luckily I only really did it in the late afternoon and evening, after I already had a productive working day and enjoyed probably the last hot summer day of the year. We've had amazing September weather so far. Today it's still OK but in the evening it'll cool down and the rain will begin and we'll get real autumn weather. So I was glad I took the time to chill out in a roof garden, get burnt by the sun, that kind of thing.

So I'm not particularly proud of indulging in this shit but I'm glad I didn't let it affect my day. Probably better to do it in one quick burst and then get back on track again, because this no-news thing has been a bit of a game-changer for me. I find my mood has become far more positive in the past few weeks, I've been far more proactive in my real life without the constant desire to "get informed" about toxic shit that is being peddled with a profit motive.

I also realised I'd been letting some less dignified racist thoughts get into my head during the US riots and the fallout from them, which reaches across the world (when the US sneezes, we all get a cold). Although I think no group should be beyond criticism, it has obviously become too much during the summer, and this is exactly the little game that the news media love to play.

So that's it as far as accountability is concerned, time to get crunching again.
So this has been way harder than I thought it would be. I'm still not looking at the garbage news I wanted to avoid but I've replaced it with alternative websites like reddit and even back to 4chan. So I'm going to have to do a full reset but this time with broader criteria about what I want to avoid, because obviously my brain is compensating the dopamine from other sources.
The news is so boring these days. Literally 99 percent of it on one topic. Rehashing the same thing over and over. You'd have to pay me to read that rubbish.

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