Never has there been a time when “news” was more in the news than it is today. Of course, for the past few months, when “news” is in the news it is more often than not preceded by the word “fake.”
Our culture has been news-obsessed for awhile, but now we have added the obsession with fake news. What’s the definition of fake news? Well, that would be news whose bias is different from my own. (He said with tongue firmly planted in cheek)
So, what sources do Americans trust to get their real news about the real world? According to a recent article from the Barna Research Group the top trusted sources are: TV news (69%), Local newspapers (50%), National newspapers (44%), Online news/content sources (42%), Social media news capabilities (34%), Magazines (25%).
May I give you a warning about ALL those news sources? Don’t get so wrapped up in keeping up with the “real world” that you forget about the real world.
That was confusing, wasn’t it? Let me explain.
I can think of 4 reasons to limit the amount of time you spend engaging with “real world” news.
- There is no such thing as unbiased reporting. Let me say that again: NO SUCH THING. That doesn’t mean that everyone is fake or can’t be trusted. It means that it is impossible for anyone, including you and me, to be unbiased about anything that matters. The only time we are really upset about bias is when someone’s bias is different from our own. Unless you live in isolation, you are going to come in contact with biases that ruffle your feathers. For the sake of your own mental, emotional, and spiritual health, it is good to limit the time you spend with your feathers ruffled.
- Every news source is going to highlight things that are predominantly negative. The old adage is true: if it bleeds, it leads. We don’t have the option of living in a world of only sunshine and daffodils, but we do have the choice of the proportion of negativity we allow into our consciousness.
- We have no control and little influence on the situations that are reported. In Stephen Covey’s classic book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he talked about the circles of concern and influence. Your circle of concern is large and contains issues about which you are concerned but over which you have no influence. The circle of influence is much smaller, but contains issues over which you actually have influence. Don’t miss this great wisdom: giving more time and energy to your circle of concern actually shrinks your circle of influence because you only have so much time and energy to give. Giving more time and energy to your circle of influence actually causes your influence to expand.
- The real world is not found on tv or any other media outlet. It’s found in your house, on your street, at your workplace, at your church. My real world starts every morning when I get up and spend time with the One for whom my world matters. It continues when I give Mrs. Sweetie a good morning kiss and cup of coffee. And it rolls on from there.
Don’t let “real world” reporting rob you of opportunities for real world living.