Jocelyn’s Jottings: Managing news exposure

A friend told me the other day that they don’t follow the news because it tends to be sensationalized and the focus is on all of the bad things that happen in the world.

Not going to lie, in my attempt to not be insulted by this statement, I rolled my eyes (I can say that because he isn’t going to read this anyway).

I believe that staying informed and connected with the community is extremely important. It part of democracy, it is part of being a contributing part of society.

But I understand where he is coming from. There is so much information out there and it is hard to sift through and come out the other side happy and motivated.

I had to disconnect last weekend. I turned off all of the notifications I get on my phone from news apps, messenger apps and apps that we use for work and I swore off social media.

It felt good, and funnily enough I didn’t miss it.

I had to stop myself a few times, as picking up my phone and clicking on Facebook or Instagram is a habit I don’t even think about, but I managed to avoid contact with the world at large for three whole days.

Now, I’m not recommending everyone stop reading the paper and visiting our website. But I think, for our own well being we should all take a hard look at our media consumption habits.

I find there is too much to wade through. I could spend all day every day trying to keep up with world news and that wouldn’t be enough time. So I have chosen a select few news organizations that I “see first” on my Facebook timeline, which means all of their posts show up first on my Facebook feed.

That sounds like it would be a lot, but it really isn’t. I see three posts from each and to see the rest I have to click a “see more” button.

I find it keeps things organized and I can easily skip them altogether if I so choose.

In this crazy world of everyone being a writer and a photographer, it is hard to manage all of the content being thrown our way. This little bit helps me keep everything organized.

I also wanted to tell my friend who doesn’t follow the news that it isn’t all tragedies and corruption. I try hard to celebrate the good in the community as well, because at the end of the day we all need to be informed but we also need a little bit of hope.

A side note, I appreciate having friends who have no idea what I am talking about, otherwise I would just be passionately discussing current events all the time and we all need variety in our lives.