At least I used to be until I realised it was not doing my health any good. It was becoming a distraction from living and enjoying my own life. It was hurting the people I love.
Broadcast News and Depression
I work from home with a television in my study so I can watch the documentary and sport stuff the family finds boring. However with an assignments gap and other events depressing my mood I started to use rolling news as a distraction. I had it on all day, without sound, for a variety of spurious justifications. My mood stayed depressed and was getting deeper.
Avoid Negativity, It Sucks the Joy from Life
As my sister says "avoid negative people like the plague, they suck the joy out of life". I realised that the constant stream of negative news was fuelling my depression and anger. Rather than being a distraction it was a cause not a distraction from "the black dog". I now rarely watch news bulletins and feel considerably better for it.
News is actually easy to do without. Very little of the world news actually impacts our own lives. The fear and negativity that politicians and the media thrive on is not actually very important in everyday life. We can manage without it and will feel happier as result.
Even without watching news bulletins it is very easy to keep in touch with what is happening. Morning and evening I skim read BBC News, Financial Times and Telegraph cartoons on line. The Times was preferred until it went behind a paywall. Rolling news is a complete no-no. I allow myself no more than a couple of hours a week instead of twelve or more. The tabloids are the worst for generating fear and loathing so I avoid them completely. I only see their headlines when I am in a newsagent, that is more than enough.
The Pleasure of Being Addiction Free
I am getting my life back. I don't care if the police are searching for a gunman 200 miles away or about the latest mealy-mouthed platitudes of some self-important politician. It is now a couple of weeks since I gave up rolling news and I am already feeling a lot happier. I am working better and enjoying it.
I am now able to find pleasure in the small joys of everyday life. I have not opted out of the world but I am no longer worrying about things I can do little about. I hardly watch any television at all now. It is all very therapeutic. My mood is lifting and I am probably a better person to be with; but that is not for me to judge.
But like an alcholic I need to be careful. I take it one day at a time. It could be very easy to slide back into addiction. One session of rolling news and I could be back on the slippery slope - reader beware.