Want to know what I did?
For two weeks I resolved to stay away from all news broadcasts. No TV, radio, newspapers, or Internet with the exception of local weather and traffic. How did this make me feel? Not left out of anything. Not isolated. Not lost in any way.
I avoided the endless stream of negativity that makes up the "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality of journalism. Didn't hear or see anything about terrorist attacks or Ebola or dirty politics or the latest computer hacks.
Of course, terrible things happened during those two weeks. I wasn't trying to fool myself into thinking that avoiding bad news would make evil go away. Life is a struggle, and eventually all of us have to overcome personal, political, and ideological challenges.
What I learned from the experience is nothing bad that happened during those two weeks negatively affected me in an immediate way. My days were more enjoyable not being weighted down and emotionally burdened with so much pessimism. As an added bonus, the extra time gained from not paying attention to the news I used to work on my latest novel.
The next time you're feeling overwhelmed with the world, I encourage you to try a news blackout. If you're too much of a current events junkie and can't bear the thought of being out of the loop for two weeks, try it for a day or two. Just as a vacation refreshes the body and soul. time away from bad news will work wonders for your emotional well being.
If you've already tried a media moratorium I'd enjoy hearing about it. If you're thinking about giving it a try, let me know. Then let me know how the experience impacted you.