Can Watching The News Make You Depressed?

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The other day when I was talking to my friend and his brother I was wondering can watching the news make you depressed?  This came up in a conversation about if we like reading and watching the local or national news.

My friend said he hates watching or reading the local and national news.  His brother says that he likes reading the local news instead of the national news.  He says that he finds the local news more interesting. Here's what I do.

Can watching the news make you depressed
Man reading the news on his tablet in a coffee shop

Man reading the news on his tablet in a coffee shop

I Try My Best To Avoid The News

I am starting to enter a news blackout to avoid all the negativity and sadness in the news. Personally I am looking forward to this adventure.

My friend’s brother said that he found the local news more interesting because they talk about different stories.  For an example the Philadelphia mayor wants to clean up the city by getting rid of the garbage off the streets.

He also said the local news didn’t “beat a dead horse” like the national news.  For another example he used, the national news keeps talking about the Mueller report over and over again.  Instead of moving to another story they stick to the same one.

I agreed with him on this one.  My friend said he doesn’t watch the news or listen to the news.  He also said he doesn’t care for the local news or the national news.  I even agreed with him on that as well.  

To be perfectly honest with you I don’t care for the news anymore.  That’s because it’s just so gosh darn depressing. Let me give you a really good example of what I mean.

Breaking news: Today in Philadelphia another person got shot and stabbed to death.  Police is still investigating on this matter, they don’t know who committed this crime but we will provide more details as soon as we get more information.

Now that didn’t really happen that was just an example.  But my point is it that stabbings and shootings take place in Philadelphia so much that it’s not news anymore.  I am sorry to say that but it’s the truth.

I don’t care if the mayor of the city is Democrat or a Republican, but I have yet to seen a mayor actually clean up the city of the violence.  You can agree or disagree with me, but that’s just my opinion.

Philadelphia is a city where I like to avoid at all cost because of the violence down there.  I try to avoid it as much as possible because it’s not that nice of place to be in.

Because of these reasons I don’t really care for the local news.  The city has garbage problems, violence, crime, and who knows what else.  Must I say anymore?

If that is not enough to make you not want to watch the news or read the news anymore.  Then perhaps this might help you make your decision a little easier.

I don’t care if you vote for Democrats or Republicans, but I bet we can all agree that the news is just non stop about politics.  They talk so much about politics that I just don’t care anymore.

You might think I am living under a rock because I don’t want to read or listen to the national or local news anymore.  However, I still read the news but only the topics I care for.

Let me explain what I mean by that.  I just started using an RSS reader again which let’s me follow news sources and topics that I care about.  I follow sports, health, fitness, video games, marketing, and etc.

By using an RSS reader I can ignore the national and local news.  I can even stop reading all the politics that has ruined the news for me.

Don’t get me wrong the news is important but only to an extent.  I don’t need to hear about the same story over and over again. My brain has a very good memory.

Perhaps what would make the news more enjoyable to read is put a happy ending to a story.  Maybe put a mix of happy news in a newspaper or on TV.

Perhaps an RSS reader is the best route to go if you find yourself reading the news constantly

Scrabble tiles that spell out mental health

Scrabble tiles that spell out mental health

The Psychological Effects Of Bad News

There is too much bad news in today’s society that I feel like its taking a toll on our mental health. The news reports so many stories that include:

  • Violence

  • Drugs

  • Alcohol

  • Death

  • Sex

  • Politics

  • Different diseases and illnesses

After a while of all these stories you kind of start wondering if it can start taking a toll on someone mental health?  

All of these stories and topics could cause mental health problems like:

  • Frustration

  • Depression

  • Suicide thoughts

  • Hopelessness

I am no expert in mental health, but I know for myself that reading and watching the local and national news makes me experience a lot of emotions.   

The inside of a library

The inside of a library

What To Read Instead Of The News?

I personally like to read the following topics in my RSS reader on a daily basis.

  • Games

  • Sports

  • Technology

  • Health

  • Fitness

  • Autism

  • Marketing

Personally life is too short to get worked up over politics and depressing news around the world.  Here is what I recommend for you to read instead of watching or reading the news.

  • Read a book

  • Read in an RSS reader

  • Read a podcast episode show notes

  • Read books to your kids

  • Read movie reviews

  • Read blogs

  • Read recipe reviews for your next meal

  • Read the weekly flyer that your grocery store sends to you in the mail

How To Give Up Watching And Reading The News

Now I am going to give you some strategies on how to stay away from the news.

  • Go for a walk outside

  • Workout

  • Watch Netflix instead of cable TV

  • Listen to a podcast

  • Listen to music

  • Watch a movie with your family or friends

  • Unfollow news sources on Social Media

  • Unsubscribe from news sources in your RSS reader

  • Uninstall all of those news apps that you may have on your phone

  • Tell your friends and family you don’t want to talk about the news

  • Remove anything news related from all of your devices

  • If you go out to eat and the news is on ask the waiter for waitress for a table away from the TV or perhaps to change the channel

  • Hide the TV remotes

  • Unplug the TV

  • Play some video games instead, but only in moderation

  • Unsubscribe from those political emails and phone text messages

  • Play a board games with the family

  • Take a trip somewhere either a local drive in the community or an out of state trip by plane or car.  Perhaps maybe even a cruise ship.

  • Visit a museum

  • Go shopping

  • Instead of listening to the radio in the car put in a CD in the CD player so you can listen to music while driving

  • Start a hobby that you like to do which will keep your mind from thinking about the news

  • Start your own business  which can also help think more about the startup and not what's going on outside in the world

  • Take a class at your local community college to learn a new skill

  • Take some online courses

  • Start building stuff like Gibbs on NCIS.  He likes to build boats

  • Go back to a flip phone so you can’t get the news on your phone

  • Write a book

  • Start a blog

The news is not for everyone in my opinion.  I feel like the news is only meant to be taken in small chunks of information.  If someone watches or reads the news multiple times per day they might only focus on the negativity that is going on in the world.

Back To You

Before I wrap up this post I have one question for you.  Do you think the news can cause depression, why or why not?  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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