It seems to me that reading/watching the news is the daily routine for many people. We are often told to develop this habit. This is one of the stupidest advice we get.
I was reading the news when I was a college student because that was what professors, parents and friends told me and expected from me. Empirically, I haven’t learned much from the news. None of it has changed my life. I stopped reading news almost entirely after college, but why is the news so bad?
Media creates a flood of news every day. It makes sense because the more views they have, the more revenues they get. It is not because the news is important, it is because that is how they make money. The news is efficient to produce because they don’t require much editing.
I even suspect that corporate media have been brainwashing us to read the news because it is a large source of their revenue. Unless they keep us in front of their site/channel/paper, they cannot make money.
People often say that we need to read/watch the news because we must be informed about what is happening in the world.
But does it really have to be today? Almost always, we don’t need to know what just happened. Instead of reading a daily news, why not reading the weekly news, monthly news, or books?
News is the worst way to acquire knowledge because the information is incomplete, speculative, biased, and possibly incorrect. Why not read more complete, evidence-backed, objective information?
Moreover, news doesn’t tell us what’s important. It pushes us around and confuses us. The problem is that it is satisfying just to catch up with and consume it. It makes us distracted and passive, and then deprive us of the ability to think.
We need to start from the questions. What is important for us? What makes us curious? And, then go and read them. We might occasionally read the news, which is fine, but you will find that news is almost always a bad source of information.