Do we really need news anyway?

Image from author.

An endless slog of news clutters our entire lives, from television, to social media, to boring conversations with colleagues and peers. And through it all we are repeatedly encouraged to “stay informed!” like good little citizens. If, god forbid, you choose to prioritize your own peace and turn off the never-ending noise, you are shamed as ignorant and scapegoated as the problem with America as we know it. But what is really that great about being “informed” anyway? 

We are told that it helps us be responsible voters and citizens. But what’s even the benefit of that? How much can the average citizen even do? In the grand scheme of things, we are all functionally useless. There are a few select people who manage to claw their way up the ladder and make a minute difference but let’s be honest, that’s not you. And in a world where you make as much of an impact as an ant can make on a boulder, why should you focus on anything but yourself? You don’t need to know about things happening to people you will never meet, in countries you don’t live in, with problems you don’t have. Don’t you have enough problems of your own to deal with? Giving up your sparse free time into learning about things you will never have the ability to change, is frankly a terrible use of your time. 

Even if you decide to dig through the endless piles of oftentimes contradictory information to discover the “truth,” everything that the news preaches as true is just crafted by the elitists of the world, typing away on their shiny computers. The truth is made up.  If it’s important enough to have an impact on your life then you can learn from good old fashioned personal experience. You have no use for some pretentious asshole from the New York Times’ opinion on every little thing in your life. Just live. 

When it really comes down to it, the only thing the news actually does for average everyday people is stress them out. Everywhere you turn there’s a new catastrophe or tragedy that is shoved in your face. The more seemingly “informed” a person is, the more anxiety filled their life is, as they are forced to shoulder the burden of information they cannot change. I mean, none of us can be expected to stop war or climate change or racism or any other of the million issues that Twitter cannot shut up about. So let’s stop pretending and turn off the news. Sometimes there’s no shame in plugging your ears and yelling “LA LA LA” at the top of your lungs. You’d probably be happier that way. So stick your head in the sand and don’t let anyone shame you into following the news ever again!

Anna Davis is a senior at Washington High School and she grew up in Fremont, California. This is her first year writing for The Hatchet and she hopes to cover topics such as student culture and art. She is the president of the Creative Writing Club. She is also the Technical Coordinator for the Performing Arts Club and has stage managed multiple productions for the club. She hopes to one day become a professional author but until then she wants to study creative writing, history, or sociology in college.

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