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  • Brendan Stec

What does it take to stop reading the news?

Nassim Taleb makes an interesting point: "Read the news from exactly a year ago. That will prove to you how important it really is."

Yet most of us are glued to Facebook, CNN, Fox News, and Twitter. We spend precious minutes of our time reacting, commenting, and fuming. Precious minutes that could otherwise be spent with our friends, our responsibilities, or better yet - reading genuine literature.

Remember: these media giants are either subsidiaries of public companies or public companies themselves. They're trying really hard to make money for their shareholders. That's why they're trying really hard to get you emotionally invested in their product. Ever hear of Big Data? That's what Facebook uses to understand exactly what you like and exactly what you want to see. Big Data makes sure you keep checking, scrolling, and clicking even when you don't want to.

Our lives are hard enough. Think about all of the high expectations, challenges, and negativity we encounter each day that are important. There is no need to pile on additional drama from social media and news that is not important.

If you cut out news consumption, don't be afraid that you'll no longer be informed. Ryan Holiday hits the nail on the head: "Humans have been dealing with constant problems for thousands of years. Chances are, someone at some point has already dealt with a similar problem as you and wrote about in a book." Hell, Marcus Aurelius in Meditations complains about the troubles of getting out of bed in the morning. He was a Roman emperor!

Mainstream media is biased melodrama and a source of unnecessary emotional burden. We deserve better. We deserve clarity and brilliant ideas that have stood the test of time. That's why books are better.


Further reading:

Ryan Holiday's inspiring article:

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