There is a difference between being informed and being entertained. The most popular news sources blend these and many times without their viewers realizing it’s happening.
When people justify constant news consumption by saying, “It’s important to be informed,” I would agree with them. It is important to be informed, but there’s such a thing as information overload.
When does information overload happen? When your mind has no peace and can’t stop reviewing the stories and starts cracking under the weight of the darkness in this world. It’s when you can’t stop thinking about the ignorance of all the people on the other side. It’s when you feel yourself approaching despair.
The world has always been terrible in some ways, but never have these things been gathered together for our unending consumption.
There are times when the news deserves our attention, but these are occasional. In the daily flow of life, many of us simply don’t need the amount of information we get. Some, insisting on the importance of being informed, are like a person who has eaten 3 plates of food justifying their 4th because it’s important to eat.
Information and action go together, but the more important thing is action. If we sat with pen and paper and wrote exactly what actions we have taken based on the information we’ve consumed in the news, would they be proportional? In many cases, would the information and attention we give not outweigh the action 10 to 1?
If so, what are we doing by constantly consuming more information? One of 3 things: fretting, fueling hatred for the other side (which is actually self-justification), or entertaining ourselves. We don’t recognize that because it’s noble to be informed, it takes effort to read it all, and it feels very grown-up.
I would never suggest that anyone be less informed, but I would ask everyone to make sure their news habit isn’t (a) causing them to hate people more, (b) ruining their peace of mind, or (c) using up the time they could spend creating or following a passion or painting, cooking, reading novels, or any of the other thousand things that make life beautiful and good.