The news: an unnecessary evil

Two years ago I checked out of watching the news, aside from during election times. I'm now a happier, and no less informed, person.

"But how do you stay informed of current events if you're not watching the news?"  

Watching the news to "stay informed" is like using Microsoft Flight Simulator to train how to be a fighter pilot.

As an ex-avid news binger I was a pawn in the news corporations' games of deceit and agitation. A journalist is rewarded for triggering their readers into such an aggressive state that they plaster stories across social media in a ploy to grab free attention. And it works. Better than any form of advertising in the history of media.

News addiction is a real thing. But, like social media addiction, it's still not being taken seriously enough. Aside from the physical danger, news and social media addiction are akin to cocaine addiction in the way they abuse your dopamine receptors.

People with ADHD are especially vulnerable to news addiction as it acts as an escape from the world around us.

But that world just outside our window is the world that truly matters and our news binging means we avoid it.

Bill Hicks satirised 24-hour news in the early 90s.

It's crazy how similar the stories he jokes about are to the ones we see on our screens today, 30 years later.

I'm not telling you what to do. All my advice is autobiographical. But, if you're feeling depressed about the state of the world today I have a little tip that might just help:

Stop watching the news.