A Week Without News

by Bob Schwartz

I get the news I need on the weather report.
Paul Simon, The Only Living Boy in New York

I spent a week mostly without news. Some days I saw a brief topline summary, some days none. I didn’t read headlines, I didn’t click on headlines. I didn’t listen to talking heads telling me what happened, I didn’t listen to talking heads analyzing what the other talking heads said.

I lived to tell. And I feel good.

News that affects your life or the lives of those within your circle of care (which for some people encompasses the world) is worth knowing about. Much of the rest of the information may be interesting and stimulating, may be fodder for thought or conversation or tweets, but questions remain: How does it affect your life? How much, if anything, can you do to affect the things you hear about? Is simply seeking and hearing this news somehow making you or your life worse? Is there something—anything—else you could be doing, hearing, thinking that would be better than paying attention to the news?

The news is with us always. You don’t have to hide from it, you don’t have to seek it. Just try to keep it in its place.