Filtering out unnecessary news.

brain scan, information overload

So, to forge ahead on the continuing topic of decluttering my cranium...

Today, I'm going to write about a few of the other filters - questions, mostly pertaining to the news -  that I've been using lately to decide what information I should allow in. Once I decide that the news I'm hearing or reading about is actually real, I generally tend to ask myself the following:

How does it affect me?

and, more importantly...

Can I do anything about it?

When I sit down to watch the news, at any given time of the day, I far too often find myself rolling my eyes and thinking...what the hell does that have to do with anything?  Why is that important to me?

An example:

President Trump is, far too often and most annoyingly, the lead news story on any news program. Does anything this man does or say affect me, personally?  

Well, yes, I have to say that, on a global scale, it certainly could. Simply because the man seems intent upon wreaking global havoc on a weekly basis, I tend to think that his actions could result, at some point, in my eventual apocalyptic death. 

Can I do anything about what he does or says, though? NO! 

Nor should I have to. I am Canadian.  And there are other, more diplomatic, Canadians being paid, with the help of my tax dollars, to deal with his policies and drama on my behalf.  So why should I watch his daily antics and let them anger me and add negativity to my day?  

Another example: 

A Canadian news channel recently covered a story about a venomous snake that got loose in the streets of Hamburg, Germany.

Does it affect me? Can I do anything about it?

Hell no, to both...but I lost a minute of my life watching that report, and a little bit of darkness and stupidity was added to the weight I carried through the day that it ran.

Even a story about something as newsworthy and heartbreaking as a mass murder or school shooting in another country doesn't really affect me directly...and there is certainly nothing I can do about any of it.

And yet, if I were to say, straight up, that I simply don't give a f$!*, what would you think of me?  That I'm heartless, uncaring, ignorant?

Well, I'm none of those things...and I am actually positive enough to believe that very few people in this world are.

And in reality, I would never say that. I do care.  I tend to care too much, actually...about everything...which is exactly why I have to narrow down the news I take in to only those things that affect me directly or that I can do something about.  To let it all rush in, willy-nilly, just adds too much weight to my day and offsets all the positive energy that I require for other, better things.

For example:

Global warming and climate justice are prevalent topics in the news these days.  Neither issue affects me directly as of quiet life on the river is actually quite lovely.  

But I will watch or allow in any story on those subjects, because there is actually something I can do about them. I can live clean and be mindful of my actions, buy fair trade products, repurpose, buy second hand, minimize my life, be less wasteful.

In short, I am switching to online news sources (only to save trees, mind you), so that I may scroll through or delete obnoxious stories as needed, and so that I may feel less powerless - helpless - in the face of dark, faraway events that I can do absolutely nothing about.

I will leave the political drama to the politicians, the financial problems to the economists, the tragedies and shootings to the police and fire and emergency departments that operate in the countries that are experiencing them.

I can neither solve nor process all of the world's issues, and so I am just going to stop taking on the weight of the bulk of them and focus more on those things that I can control... closer to home.

If we - humans - had never invented phones, screens, televisions, wifi, all of it...we would not, at this moment in time, be faced with having to process so much information.

And I'm absolutely sure that we were never meant to...and equally sure that I no longer can.

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