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News Diet

That's Old News, Man

I've been thinking a lot about this whole "news" thing lately. We call it news, right? And the word "news" comes from the idea that it's, well, new. The latest happenings, the freshest stuff. Makes sense, sort of.

I looked it up, and you know where it comes from? The Latin for "new things". Kind of funny, because our English language didn't even get the word until around the 1300s! That's like, way back when folks thought a bath was the Devil's work.

But then I started thinking...If I can wear my favourite old shoes till they're more holes than footwear, and then finally chuck them, is that news? Technically, yeah. It's a new development in the grand saga of my footwear. But is it gonna be on the evening broadcast? Probably not.

Everything's news in a way, isn't it? The way the light changes through the day – now that's fresh. The fact that my cat has decided the houseplant is her personal nemesis – breaking story right there! But unless a cat takes over a major city, that doesn't make the headlines either.

The Ever-Turning Wheel of News

Here's the thing that gets me: they package this "news" and deliver it to us as if it's the hottest thing since sliced bread. Often, it literally happened yesterday, or even a few hours ago. We act like it's happening right now as the newscaster tells us about it. Then we call up a friend to discuss what happened, as if they haven't also seen the same broadcast.

Meanwhile, a bird outside my window just built the most impressive nest I've ever seen – and no one's reporting on that! I guess it's all about perspective, right?

And don't get me started on "live" shows. Sure, it's live when they're filming it. But by the time I'm watching, is it really live anymore? It could be on a delay, or pre-recorded and carefully edited. Heck, half the time "live" just means a bunch of people are talking at once, so maybe it should be delayed for the sake of my sanity!

News from the Woods

It all makes me wonder...if you took away the screens, the broadcasts, and the nonstop updates, what would be left? Well, there'd always be the neighbor's dog barking too loudly for my liking. I suppose that's a sort of news bulletin.

But let's say I went somewhere remote. Picture it: cabin in the woods, no TV, no internet, no angry social media debates. I imagine my "news" would change quite a bit.

Instead of global events and celebrity gossip, my headlines would be more like:

  • "Local Squirrel Achieves Nut Storage Record!"
  • "Ants vs. Crumb: Epic Battle Under Kitchen Table!"
  • "Wind Announces Change of Direction; Leaves React Accordingly!"

Suddenly, the things I care about would be way more immediate and maybe a little less stressful?

News Diet

Look, I'm not saying we need to throw out the actual news entirely. And I'm not gonna start a commune in the woods anytime soon (too many bugs). But I think we can all agree that being glued to the news cycle 24/7 isn't exactly...healthy.

So, here's my challenge (mostly for myself, but you're welcome to join in): let's try putting down the remote and stepping away from the news feed for a bit. Pay attention to the "news" happening right in front of you.

Maybe your houseplant is engaged in an unspoken war with your cat. Maybe there's an epic cloud formation happening over your head. Maybe the kind stranger in the grocery store restored your faith in humanity. Those little moments, those are news too – the kind that might make you laugh, the kind that make the world a bit brighter.

And hey, if you miss a giant celebrity meltdown or a political scandal, I'm sure someone will let you know… eventually.


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