For my May monthly challenge I am going to go back to something a little more black and white and cut something out. This month I am going to completely tune out and not watch, read or listen to any news media.
I have been a news junkie for as long as I can remember, filling my breaks and other moments of free time by browsing news websites or apps on my phone is one of my favourite activities. The truth of the matter is, that news rarely has much if any impact on my day to day life, and really just serves to fill my head with lots of doom and gloom and other negative stories. Also, although I usually only read the news for a few minutes here, and a few minutes, there, it adds up and is a serious distraction in my daily life.
This monthly challenge was inspired by Darren Hardy, one of my favourite personal development guru’s, in a video he recently posted on the detrimental impact the generally negative news media has on our psychology and general world view. It is true, bad things happen around the world every day, and unfortunately they will continue to happen. However, contrary to what the media will have you believe, the chances of those horrible things happening to me on any given day are incredibly small!
Don’t get me wrong, I think it is important for citizens to be educated about the world around them and have a high level understanding of current events. However, my attention to the news is definitely at an addictive level, which needs to change. I need to cut back, get some sanity back and also free up some time; hopefully this challenge helps me achieve that goal!
- For the month of May I will not watch, listen to or read any traditional news media. This includes websites and channels such as CBC News, CTV News, CNN, the BBC, Calgary Herald, National Post, News Talk 770 and 660 News. Non-Traditional Media such as blogs are still fair game.
- The one exception to this is coverage on the Alberta Provincial Election, which is happening on Tuesday, May 5. I want to make the most informed choice, and that means staying current on events right up to and during Election Day. I will also be watching the results as this election has the potential to be quite a shift in government in Alberta and will impact my life.
- I will still be allowed to stay on top of the Flames progress in the NHL playoffs through sports only sites and stations such as TSN, Sportsnet and NHL.com.
This challenge is going to be really hard for me. As mentioned above, I typically check news sites at least five or six times per day, so going down to zero will be tough, especially for the first week or so. However, I believe I can do it, and I think I will be able to be filled in on any major world events by friends or family. Sure I miss a few breaking news stories, but missing a story or two will have absolutely zero impact on my life, that is what I need to remember. The world will keep on spinning.
I will also be travelling in Europe for the last third of the month, so avoiding the news once I embark on the trip will be pretty easy and will also help me disconnect and unplug from my life back home and enjoy my trip even more!
As mentioned above, ultimately I do believe people need to stay on top of current events through watching, reading and listening to accurate, unbiased journalism. My addiction to news media has reached excessive levels, and I need to cut it back.