Thursday, January 17, 2013

Confessions of a Former News Junkie

I have not watched the news since December 17, 2012.  Well, I guess I've watched the weather part, but that's really it.  I quit it.  I had to....

I grew up with the news on.  It was always in the background every evening while dinner was being made and homework was being completed.  When I was old enough to be home alone, I would turn it on.  I guess it was something about the sound of it, made it feel like home.  Up until a few weeks ago, it was the first thing I did in the morning and the last thing I did before I went to bed. I was always known as the one that had the information. But that all changed on December 14, when a young man took the lives of so many at an elementary school in a small town in Connecticut.

The day the mass shootings happened, I watched a little news and heard about a school shooting where a few people were injured.  By the time I returned from my daily school drop-offs, there were 26 children and adults that were killed.  It literally took my breath away.  I sat like a news zombie, reminiscent of 9/11, watching the stories come in.  I couldn't stop, even though it was so painful to watch.

Over the weekend, I was busy and caught the news here and there.  Monday morning I was back into my regular news watching mode when "Good Morning America" came on.  The show was centered around the tragedy.  I started listening as I went about my daily routines.  And then it happened.  The mother and father of one of the victims was being interviewed.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I cried. A lot.  My heart completely broke for this family and all the families.  As I was getting ready to send my boys off to school, these parents would never have the privilege again.  I decided then and there, I am done watching the news and any related story to the shooting.

It had bothered me from the start that they were interviewing children that had just lived through this scary event that happened at their safe place.  I got tired of hearing about the man's possible autism and social skills problems.  The media was running away with this story.  I knew the facts, enough to know I should pray and keep these families in my hearts.  There was nothing else I really needed to hear.

Since I have quit the news, I do not feel like I'm in the dark about anything.  I feel in the light, less anxious about life.  If I need to know the weather, I check my IPhone.  I can see the stories that are important to me when I log on in the morning.  I choose to read them or not read them.  I won't be hit with negative stories that I don't want to hear.  I am not hearing about what overpaid celebrity or personality did what with who.  My husband is also my source for news.

Yes, I realize some might see it as living under a rock, but for now, this is working for me.  I also know my children are not being exposed to as much negativity as before.  My 5 year old actually misses the news, but he is also my worrier.  Fortunately, my boys have no idea what occurred that day in that little school.

In just looking up some information recently, I found a blurb that the shooter wore earplugs.  Information I didn't need to know. It confirmed to me once more, that for now, no news is good news.

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