The Myth of the Breaking News Cycle

The whole concept of breaking news runs on a very potent myth: You need to know what’s going on around the world, and you need to know now. Smart people follow the news. Responsible people follow the news. Grown-ups follow the news. Don’t they? We’ve got some breaking news of our own: You don’t need to follow the daily news. True breaking news will find you, and the rest isn’t urgent or just doesn’t matter.”

From Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

Several years ago, I became disillusioned with the breaking news cycle. I stopped checking in on the news, created a bunch of mute filters on Twitter (now I’ve removed Twitter altogether), and trusted that if I needed to know something, I would find out about it. This has always proved true. Whenever I am around a 24-hour news cycle on television, such as at the doctor’s office, I find myself being drawn in and caring” about what is happening. The 24-hour news cycle can only occur if there is something to talk about, so they will always make something to talk about. The way our brains are wired is that bad news, the horrific, will draw us in, so they prey upon this to keep us hooked.

A life away from the cycle is genuinely wonderful. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

News Cycle - Make Time

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