News Junk Diet

I like to keep up with the news, but the emotional cost is hard to afford. I suspect I would feel better if I simply avoided any news contact, in the same way that I am happier when I avoid ever stepping on the scale to check the progress of my weight. I crave the idea of staying oblivious, but just like unexpectedly finding out my weight has slipped up into a higher undesirable bracket, I am also worried about sudden news surprises.

I don’t want to be taken unaware of the latest protest against profiling, the newest political scandal, and up-to-date information about who said what about who; who shot whom; or who hit whom with a car. Is there a lawsuit I haven’t properly metabolized? A trending subject on social media I have missed?

But I am starting to worry that I am not actually being informed. Instead, I am being whipped into a frenzy on a daily basis by a variety of news sources. I start with the daily paper. On Sunday I start with two daily papers. After I have recovered somewhat from the ingestion of so much bad financial, social, political and national safety news, I make sure I keep my personal tank of fear and unease topped off for the remainder of the day by frequent ingestions of fresher news from other sources.

I snack on National Public Radio. I sip from Flipboard. I am tempted to taste every hour from the homepage on my computer. I will often indulge in quick little bites of twitter postings throughout the day, the “Amuse-bouche” of news tasting.  I feel it is allowable to indulge in these tiny little tastes, but after multiple samples, I risk becoming bloated with news. I ingest so much news that some days I can barely move.  I am also concerned by a recent news piece that claimed some brands of parmesan cheese is actually created out of sawdust. I am left with a resultant sick feeling that a lot of what I am taking in is not actually real, farm to table, news.

I’m starting to suspect that much of what I consume has been unhealthily altered.

I am trying to maintain a healthy news consumption plan, but every two minutes someone comes along and offers me a temptation that I have a hard time resisting. For a while I thought it was okay to indulge in huge amounts of intake as long as I worked hard to monitor my intake choices. I started substituting news of political unrest and shootings with weather updates. Healthier, right? Of course the weather updates aren’t nearly as satisfying, but they do let me feel full without weighing me down quite so much.

It was good for a while, but I ended up just forming a new addiction to yet another news source. The weather, seemingly harmless, light, and fluffy became equally weighty over time. Trends became ominous. Droughts, fires, floods. I have gorged so heavily on bad weather that I feel I might be sick.

Plus, a recent article I read by Jacqueline Floyd in the Dallas Morning News reminded me I shouldn’t believe everything I read.  She warns us, “So y’all be careful out there. Be a little skeptical. There’s a lotta lies floating around.” I suspect a lot of news is manufactured primarily to encourage us to keep eating; I mean reading.

I am so filled with woe and misgivings; I am close to moving up to the next size in jeans due to my increasingly bloated news body. It turns out it is possible I am actually full of false facts. Bulging with biased bits. Sick from synthesized sludge.

Overstuffed with so much unverified, hysterical non-informative news.

I know it is my own fault. Only I can control my news diet. I keep trying to limit my intake, but it hard to tell what is truly nutritionally informative. There is so much junk news out there just begging to be consumed. Determining news nutritional content is almost impossible.

My news diet is totally shot.


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