How come we never talk about the fact that the world is getting better?
Why do dramatic events and terrorist disasters get reported so much more than stories about scientific progress?
What kind of a world would we have if we dared to focus on the meta … and recognized the signs that the media was baiting our attention for clicks?
Or what if we decided we were bored of reading about bombs, wars and fires?
Being able to read context is an amazing skill. But so is knowing when to tune out.
Let me show you some examples.
The University of British Columbia’s Human Society Center found that the number of armed conflicts in the world has fell 40% in the last decade.
The percentage of males that died in violence in hunter gatherer societies? 30%. The percentage of males that died violently in the 20th Century? 1%.
You see, the media is interested in selling us a story of a world that is not getting better. Because they’ve realised that’s not what sells.
Attempts to sell the bigger, meta-story back to us, like FiveThirtyEight, are niche.
Why I stopped reading the news
A few years ago, I went on a complete news diet.
I’m not talking about “logging onto BBC News less,” I mean a complete news diet. I tried to read absolutely nothing.
And it worked. I claimed back a ton of my time. I didn’t feel like I’d miss anything.
As time went on, it got harder and harder to sustain.
You see, news is part of how we connect with each other. True, some of us don’t care. Others are completely obsessed with tracking everything.
What I learned was the perils of being_ addicted _to news. It doesn’t matter whether you watch the news or not. It’s probably going to be hard to unplug from it completely. But it shouldn’t distract you from stuff that has 10x the potential.
You don’t get Big Wins from News
News is never going to reward you with the big win. That’s the reason to know when to walk away.
Kenny was right.
Look at your relationship with news now. Is it helping you grow, improve? If not, are you just sitting there refreshing the feed?
What would happen if you focused on something bigger?
You might be surprised at the results.
Categories: Practical Philosophy