Author Topic: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!  (Read 2563 times)

Abe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1211
Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« on: February 07, 2019, 09:58:07 PM »
The last few weeks have been so busy that I haven't kept up with my love-hate relationship with news. On the one hand I feel like I should know just how hot the dumpster fire of politics is getting, but on the other hand who gives a ___ until the next election? Obviously there won't be any miraculous breakthrough in the next couple months, and I'm sure someone will let me know.

I've spent more time learning things that make me better at home and work, and realized how much time I was wasting on b.s.

Part of it is obviously the privilege of the life I was born into, in that not every move some idiot politician makes directly impacts my entire life course. I then feel bad about not helping with "the good fight" like I used to in college.

What is everyone else's opinions/feelings on this matter?

Moustachienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 295
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 10:26:42 PM »
After the latest Bezos vs the National Enquirer craziness (don't look!) I was just thinking that  I need to look away!  But it never stops!  I need Dogbert to knock the clicker out of my hand. :).  I'm not even American, ffs.

So your post is perfect timing, thanks! I need to lower my consumption of tabloid news, especially from foreign countries, and up my attention to local topics and issues I can effect.

"Amusing" ourselves to death, for sure.  And Neil Postman thought 60s TV was a problem. Ha!

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 772
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 01:40:45 AM »
Meh, I never watch the news. Never read a newspaper. What I do is go to reputable world news sites - BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN,  - and do a scan of what's happening. I only click on what interests me. When Trump's having a tantrum I sometimes go to the Washington Post site because it's amusing.

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4465
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 05:09:17 AM »
I was just suggesting this on another thread. Occasionally I turn on the morning news for weather but other than that I have nothing to do anymore with the likes of CNN, FOX NEWS, MSNBC and so on or follow the crap on social media. Occasionally something interesting will pop up on my phone I will read but I find myself alot happier not listening to all the shit going on. Most of its crime and people bashing.

AlexMar

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 262
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2019, 06:20:28 AM »
I've drastically decreased my news reading.  Deleting FB off my phone made a BIG difference, too.  Nowadays I'll pop on to Drudge maybe once or twice throughout the day.  It's a great source without opinion crap to grab the headlines and at least have some clue what is going on.  I watch very, very little news on TV anymore.  And even then it's usually just the local station.  Almost none of the national 24/7 news cycle stuff.

I think the 24/7 news cycle is very much the problem nowadays.  They have to desperately try and keep people entertained by it, 24/7.  There just isn't that much important news, however.  So you end up with over the top nonsense that is totally meaningless.  If you want an idea of just how ridiculous politics is nowadays, even this thread... "when Trump has a tantrum, durrrrr"....  People seriously can't help themselves but inject over the top bullshit in every conversation.  Even a conversation about avoiding it....

I've tried to totally ditch the news, I have a friend who did that and swears by it.  But I do like to pop on even just for a couple minutes here and there and I haven't been able to break that habit yet.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 06:22:58 AM by AlexMar »

ReadySetMillionaire

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 917
  • Location: The Buckeye State
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2019, 07:04:23 AM »
I've been doing the following for almost two months:

1) I do not read Facebook or Twitter at all, full stop. It was admittedly weird watching the Super Bowl without a "second" screen, but who cares.

2) I unfollowed almost everyone on Instagram and was left with about 75 people that I consider close friends/family friends or interests (e.g., the Cleveland Indians account). I can generally keep up with people on Instagram, and by design, it's way less bullshit than Facebook.

3) I customized Apple News so that it's basically 100% sports, law, and personal finance news. It's very nice, as it breaks things down into my interests (Ohio State Football, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, NFL, College Football, law, SCOTUS, etc.). I also had to work quite a bit to block every single news outlet on there, and any stories. So the NYT, WaPo, CNN, Politico, etc. are all blocked; and any story with Trump, Clinton, Pelosi, whoever is also blocked. I haven't seen a politics story in weeks.

4) The only news outlet I read is The Atlantic.  I do not read the news or opinion articles, but I get the gist of what is going on. But, The Atlantic has excellent writing about science, culture, etc., and I become a better writer by reading. I think that's worth the minimal exposure to the news.

5) No nightly news. I see bits of the Today Show when my wife watches in the morning, but no nightly news.


I've only been doing this since Christmas, but it honestly has become habit at this point. I've read three books this year and just ordered three more from the library.

Now if only my diet and exercise resolution was going as good.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 07:06:01 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »

DadJokes

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 07:09:24 AM »
"The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them."

Thomas Jefferson's thoughts on news reporting are even more true now than they were then. There's no such thing as an unbiased reporter/journalist.

May2030

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2019, 07:21:29 AM »
I have cut 95% of news media out and feel much better for it. A quick scan of headlines and tune in for occasional significant events but that is it. The result being I feel much calmer and more focused on what directly effects me, its just less to process.These days it feels like even reputable news outlets are click bait as they compete for readers. The only thing I miss about not reading papers is having some old newspaper handy to put down while doing DIY jobs.

My mother get very annoyed after reading her newspaper of choice and is then frustrated when I am not interested in listening to her regurgitate its contents. It does make me wonder how much of a persons opinions are really free will.



AlexMar

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 262
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2019, 08:00:25 AM »
My mother get very annoyed after reading her newspaper of choice and is then frustrated when I am not interested in listening to her regurgitate its contents. It does make me wonder how much of a persons opinions are really free will.

Lol.  This sounds just like my father.  Who seems to be in a constant state of angry and annoyed due to the news.  Posts on Facebook, constant.  Can't help himself but go on a political rant to try and fish for a discussion, etc.  To the point where we had to make it clear we wouldn't engage in those conversations.  But man, he totally regurgitates the nonsense from the news and nobody wants to hear it.

Dances With Fire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 212
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2019, 08:29:51 AM »
The last few weeks have been so busy that I haven't kept up with my love-hate relationship with news. On the one hand I feel like I should know just how hot the dumpster fire of politics is getting, but on the other hand who gives a  spent more time learning things that make me bette___ until the next election?

Obviously there won't be any miraculous breakthrough in the next couple months, and I'm sure someone will let me know. I'ver at home and work, and realized how much time I was wasting on b.s.

Part of it is obviously the privilege of the life I was born into, in that not every move some idiot politician makes directly impacts my entire life course. I then feel bad about not helping with "the good fight" like I used to in college.

What is everyone else's opinions/feelings on this matter?

Right behind you Abe... I find it all has become just exhausting and people who were at one time free-thinking carefree humans have become idiots over the smallest of non-issues.

In my youth, I was so far removed from this and I'm seriously thinking of ways to recapture some of that "Walden" that we all are missing.

If you don't see me posting as often, just assume I'm at the Lake...Cheers!

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1105
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2019, 09:21:43 AM »
I stopped reading and watching the news shortly after the Trump election.

It's hard being ill-informed, but I found it preferable to the alternative.

I hear enough on FB, at work, etc. that I am basically appraised of the situation but not depressed about it.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6265
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2019, 11:06:20 AM »
Meh, I never watch the news. Never read a newspaper. What I do is go to reputable world news sites - BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN,  - and do a scan of what's happening. I only click on what interests me. When Trump's having a tantrum I sometimes go to the Washington Post site because it's amusing.
Yup.  I mostly read on-line local news only.

Traffic accidents, school reports, who's running for city council, etc.

I spend my evenings reading, crocheting.  Maybe I get to watch 1.5 hours of TV a week?  Often not.  I watched an episode of "Jamestown" last night and then spent some time explaining to my tween what was going on.  "Women were property, they weren't allowed to have opinions."

My spouse likes to listen to NPR and talk politics.  I often have to tell him "stop, can't take it right now".

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4465
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2019, 12:04:30 PM »
"The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them."

Thomas Jefferson's thoughts on news reporting are even more true now than they were then. There's no such thing as an unbiased reporter/journalist.



This is so true! Great quote! I have already shared it!

NorCal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2019, 02:02:09 PM »
The low information diet has been one of the best things that happened to me.  Of course, I still check the news, but I make a point to do the following:

1. I don't get news from the TV.  Ever.
2. I realize news that matters is about 10% politics and 90% what is happening in the world.  The volume of news produced is roughly inverted.  I make sure what I actually read doesn't include more than 10% politics.
3.  If a news source is designed to generate outrage, I don't read it.  This is equally important for news you agree with vs. disagree with.  I recognize that outrage journalism is nothing more than politicians manipulating my emotions for their own benefit.  I don't play that game.
4. I unfollow everyone on social media who posts about politics.  Particularly those I agree with (see outrage journalism above).
5. News apps and social media aren't allowed on my phone.  I have to deliberately find the information when I want it.  Not when my phone thinks its convenient to notify me.

I am overall much happier with life since I made these changes.  I actually think I'm better informed now, just because I have a better sense of perspective on the world.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4038
  • Location: On my bike
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2019, 03:06:48 PM »
I LOVE the low information diet.  The vast majority of news sources specifically try to exploit your emotional reaction because it draws more clicks/views/shares.  Cutting that crap out has made me so much happier.

tozier

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2019, 04:42:39 PM »
Keeping up with current events feels like an absolute chore, so I rarely do it. The feeling probably stems from childhood: “what the hell is this boring crap on television, and why is it disrupting my other shows”? Also, when people tell me I “should” do something, I have a strong compulsion to not do it. So, someone saying I should keep up with current events because “it’s my responsibility to do so” will drive me to do the opposite. 48 years on this planet and I seem to be doing ok not really caring about what “sources are speculating”, which I couldn’t care less about. Speculation is not reality.

My fiancé is the same, and my father, when he found out neither of us care about the news, tried to engage us in political arguments only for him to win by saying, “what do you know? You don’t even pay attention to what’s going on!”

My high school English teacher quoted someone (Shakespeare?) with “All speech is persuasive”. Nothing could be more true than those four words, and I rarely read anything without thinking “what does this person have to gain by telling me this?”. My dad wants to feel good about his “smarts” as a political junkie, so he always tries to engage in debate. So if it’s not someone seeking my approval, then it’s usually someone seeking the contents of my wallet, which is exactly what news is: write the best spin on today’s events to get the most subscribers, who will be subject to our advertisers.

nemesis

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 169
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2019, 01:15:57 AM »
I have a select information diet - I choose to follow health, fitness, nutrition info, and of course financial management news like this site.  It makes life easy to manage, and I do something every day to improve my health, wealth, or skills. 

I don't understand people who allow themselves to be bombarded by random crap every day.  We are what we allow ourselves to be exposed to. Choose only positive, educational stuff to be exposed to and life is amazing.

MrThatsDifferent

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2019, 01:37:47 AM »
When DT won the election (shudder) I stopped all Facebook and news for 6 months. That’s when I threw myself into MMM. It was a glorious time. I never watch the news or reality tv. I’ve got Facebook back now but desperately want to get rid of it but need it to stay in touch with people. I have limited my feed to only people I care about what they post. I look at 4-5 news sites to keep up with what’s happening but could probably drop all of them. Was reading the 4 hour workweek and I think his suggestion is to ask people, what’s happening in the news? I should do that more.

nemesis

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 169
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2019, 01:39:25 AM »
When DT won the election (shudder) I stopped all Facebook and news for 6 months. That’s when I threw myself into MMM. It was a glorious time. I never watch the news or reality tv. I’ve got Facebook back now but desperately want to get rid of it but need it to stay in touch with people. I have limited my feed to only people I care about what they post. I look at 4-5 news sites to keep up with what’s happening but could probably drop all of them. Was reading the 4 hour workweek and I think his suggestion is to ask people, what’s happening in the news? I should do that more.
Apple News / Google News is great for pushing headlines to you. I ignore the vast majority of the stuff but it helps me to stay up to date.  I strive to spend less than 10 minutes per day on the news.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4544
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2019, 02:47:35 AM »
I found my mood definitely improved with a low information diet. I don't watch TV, occasionally listen to the radio. I don't read newspapers. Interestingly enough filters through  by osmosis that I am generally aware of anything major happening. Occasionally I am embarrassed in general conversation when someone says "wasn't x terrible?" and I have no idea what they are talking about. I usually act vague and say no I hadn't heard, what happened.

Its a much better way to live.

edit typo
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 01:49:52 PM by happy »

big_slacker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1358
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2019, 07:23:21 AM »
I got rid of TV a decade ago. I don't consume *ANY* news or politics online, even filtering out this stuff on my social media feeds. I know who the president is, barely but have zero knowledge about any of the latest whatever outrage things people at work are on about. I'm super, super happy about how this has worked for me. I have important things in my life that are actually within my sphere of influence. I can focus on those and make real progress on them. The rest really doesn't matter.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4544
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2019, 01:51:27 PM »
Yes, its amazing how much time and emotional energy people waste on the day to day outrage/shock/horror. And a few weeks later 80% of it is forgotten/past and hasn't changed a thing.

Linea_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4557
  • Location: Norway
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2019, 02:17:44 AM »
Last year I became less interested in the news and didn't pay too much attention to it. But I noticed that I was less updated when e.g. my DH mentioned new events. He is often surprised that I hadn't heard about it.

On the other hand, it is also silly if both persons in a couple have read all the news. You can never inform the ever of some silly event you read about, because the other has already read it too.

Currently I still read a paper while eating breakfast. I have noticed that the main, free online newspaper that I read contains so much shit, that there might actually be only 2 news articles on an entire page. The rest is just sensasional clickbait, but no news. I am switching to another website that has more actual news.

We also tent to watch the news on TV in the evening. This comes after dinner and we are usually drinking tea while watching it. But this is a long new show and it takes time. I look at the iPad as well at the same time, although multitasking is a bit stressful.

I enjoy the moments that I'm not home and can use the evening for other things. Just an occasional short look at relevant headlines might be the best thing. And ignoring the other stuff.

mathlete

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 949
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2019, 12:27:04 PM »
I genuinely find the "uninformed as a badge of honor" thing to be really annoying.

No one is obligated to stay informed. That part is fine. But it gets really tiresome when people just decide that the news, or reading newspapers, or reading up on topics that could be considered news or current events is passe, but then they still have no issues shooting from the hip when these things come up as a topic of conversation.

TVRodriguez

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 426
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2019, 12:56:14 PM »
I get the morning newsletter/email from the NY Times and my local paper.  Oh, and from The Skimm.  I don't always read them all, but the headlines I get from those are usually enough for me to feel informed without wasting too much time on it. 

DH went cold turkey on news for a few months and it really improved his mood.  He had been down a lot about the news.

Jessica King

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Low Information Diet - it actually helps!
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2019, 02:24:14 AM »
The last few weeks have been so busy that I haven't kept up with my love-hate relationship with news. On the one hand I feel like I should know just how hot the dumpster fire of politics is getting, but on the other hand who gives a ___ until the next election? Obviously there won't be any miraculous breakthrough in the next couple months, and I'm sure someone will let me know.

I've spent more time learning things that make me better at home and work, and realized how much time I was wasting on b.s.

Part of it is obviously the privilege of the life I was born into, in that not every move some idiot politician makes directly impacts my entire life course. I then feel bad about not helping with "the good fight" like I used to in college.

What is everyone else's opinions/feelings on this matter?

Thank you for the information! I also think that sometimes it`s useful to become clean from the news for a couple of days to find the inner peace and harmony again. I never read new when I  travel, it`s just my rule, and it makes every travel even more previous.