Thursday, January 31, 2013

Random Reflection - The News 24/7

Finally starting to feel a little bit better after suffering from Sciatica for the past two or three weeks. The massaging treatments have really been helping and I'm glad to say that the $37.00 I spent on the book was worth every penny! Now that I'm getting better I need to start taking better care of myself, exercising more, doing my stretching exercises and trying not to stress too much...which is what this post is about.

Today my co-worker came into my office to tell me that she had just read about another shooting at a school in Atlanta. I knew about it already because as I was scanning my facebook wall during a trip to the bathroom...yes, I take my cell phone to the bathroom, I will defend that later; anyway...I was scanning my facebook wall and I saw a post from one of the local news anchor that I follow that read, "Report: 2 people shot at Price Middle School in Atlanta. 2 suspects in custody. here we go again."

Just a few posts later there was another post from another anchor that I follow from the same local news station that read, "Breaking news: ATLANTA (AP) - Atlanta fire official: 14-year-old shot in head at middle school, hospitalized."

Each post had several comments such as"Oh my God what is the world coming to", "this is why we need gun control", "this is why I will not send my kids to school but will home-school them" and "where are these kids parents? Why don't they know what their children are up to?"

Frankly...I myself am sick and tired of all the media coverage of events like this. Back in the day (before cell phones and Internet and 24/7 coverage of every single little aspect of life), we didn't hear all day about anything that was going on in the world unless we maybe turned the radio on in our car during our lunch break. We wouldn't hear anything until we got home and turned on our televisions and listened to the evening news.

By the time that we got to our homes and turned on the evening news, the media for the most part had all or most of the facts and they were able to tell us what had happened. Briefly we would be riveted to the television, waiting to hear the details. Then the details would be given to us and we would know whether the person involved was hurt or had died and who had committed the crime and whether or not they had been apprehended. We had the facts.

So what right? Now we have news instantaneously. No...we don't have news, we have rumors and sound-bites and they are interviewing anyone and everyone, even people that don't know anything about what is happening but want their 15 minutes of fame!

For example, the shooting of the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I was at work when I heard about it and my co-worker and I were riveted to every piece of breaking news showing up on yahoo and MSN and Google. First we hear the name of the shooter was Ryan Lanza, we later find out that it was his younger brother Adam. We hear that Ryan shot his mother Nancy, who was a teacher at the school...come to find out Adam shot his mother Nancy and she was not a teacher at the school.

My point today is not to point out all the inconsistencies in what was reported that day but mainly to point out that myself, along with millions of others that day were riveted to the news, on our phone, laptops, Ipads, computers...all of us with tears in our eyes and our hearts in our throats stressing out and suffering all day long with every little detail that surfaced.

Since that day I have resolved to not read news items during the day. To spare myself that pain and agony and stress. Does that mean I don't care about what happened at Sandy Hook, or today in Atlanta? No...I care, I care very much and my heart hurts for all the victims and for their families and friends; but I won't spend every minute of my day poisoning my mind and tormenting my heart with all the "news" the media is putting out there just for ratings or shock-value. I'll wait until I get home and watch the news, or read the newspaper the next morning and spare myself the constant torture AND STRESS of a too quick to report world.

What I love about blogging though is that I can put my thoughts and ideas out there and YOUcan tell me in the comments what you think? Why you think that having instantaneous news, correct or not is important to you...or why you feel like me. I'm interested in knowing your thoughts on this matter. What say you?


  1. I remember being so very upset at the way the media dealt with the insatiable appetite for 'breaking news' during the horror at Sandy Hook in December. I believe they caused stress and pain with all the inaccuracies and their desperation to have something to say every minute. We'd all have been better off to have had hourly reports in a respectful and measured way. I think you may be onto something with your choice!

    1. Thank you! I was hoping someone would agree :) I didn't want to come across as heartless and uncaring. I appreciate your comment!

  2. I am so glad that you are feeling better! Isn't it amazing that massage can be so helpful?

    I didn't know that their was another school shooting. I agree that so much publicizing is not a good thing.

    1. Hi Paula,
      And the weird thing is that it is the left side of my buttocks, leg, knee and foot that hurts, yet the massage point is right below the shoulder blade on the RIGHT side of my body. Our bodies are a strange and wonderous thing!

  3. I think your absolutely right. We are subjected too much information, too intensely, for too much of the day. It is instantaneous and it world wide. I have read that we have evolved to know and care for the people of a small village, and that has expanded to 7 billion people. The sheer volume of shootings, wars, disasters, financial failures, political upheaval is just overwhelming.

    The news is one thing. The other thing we do not escape from is a 24/7 social presence. Depending on how wired one is and how important its to oneself, we can subject ourselves to a lot of stress by getting into fire fights on the Internet. I used to belong to a car forum and you should have seen the bitter vitriolic over how often to change your oil. Who gives a rat's behind? These guys got themselves worked into a fury. Read the nasty comments that accompany any news article.

    The other very sad aspect of social net working, 24/7 Internet access and the ubiquity of cameras in the phones is kids in school. Used to be if you had a zit or a bad hair day or fell on your ass, you suffered for the day and tomorrow was a new day. Now you find photos posted of your every adventure for the whole world to see and to be recycled every so often when some mean spirited little bastard or bitch decides to make your life miserable. There is no refuge from the social high school social scene. I have read that some high school and college girls begin to affect a celebrity life style where they must look fabulous 100% of the time, and constantly are on stage, and use caution about what they say, with whom, and how they appear. They are also suffering some of the psychological ills that celebrity can inflict.

    It is too much. We are not designed for it.

  4. You raise excellent points Sextant. My sister and I often ponder the quality of life that our children's children will have. Even now at family gatherings my nieces and nephews are all more programmed into texting and facebook than in actually taking joy in being in the presence of family and joining in conversation.

    I can't imagine what it must be like in school now a days with cell phone cameras everywhere!

    I have to force myself not to check facebook throughout the day or my email and I'm not quite as addicted as some people are. I see so many people say on facebook that they don't quite enjoy fb as much as they used too...yet they are on there 24/7.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting Sextant, much appreciated!


Please leave a comment.I would love to know your thoughts!