A Year Without (Most) News

In March 2017 I decided to try an experiment: What would happen if I stopped reading the news? (Spoiler alert: I don’t regret it in the least.)

I used to read a lot of news, seek out articles on a regular basis, and even condense it to figure out the essential information. It was a good exercise in critical thinking and analyzing modern journalism. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with staying informed on current events. But after some time, I started to suspect this was a trending-negative experience. Reading every piece of major news didn’t feel helpful. After some thought I wrote “Is Staying Informed Overrated?” – my most popular post so far, which received some interesting responses.

So that month I decided to quit the news. More or less. I would glaze over headlines as they passed by in social media feeds, and I wouldn’t read any articles unless they seemed exceptionally interesting. I didn’t make any effort to watch or read anything news-related. The opposite of what I did for my weekly news summaries on this blog.

Here we are in March 2018 and I’m going to continue my experiment – which isn’t so much an experiment anymore as it is a permanent(?) lifestyle change. I feel better and have more energy/time to devote to things which matter in my life. I skimmed some old news to see if it’s still relevant, and 99 percent of it isn’t. Most news isn’t important and will soon fade from the collective conscious.

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Is Staying Informed Overrated?

I saw a couple of tweets earlier this month from Naval Ravikant, and they’ve stuck with me. Not because they’re particularly enlightening on their own — they’re individual tweets, after all. It’s because Naval’s statements mesh with other pieces of information I’ve seen this year. Together, the sum of this knowledge paints quite an interesting picture.

Oddly controversial statements to make these days:

  • “Be optimistic.”
  • “Staying informed is overrated.”

Yet in certain ways, they make sense. Is it worth taking the time to keep up with the news?

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