How do you know what’s going on in the world?
In The Low Information Diet, Mr Money Mustache takes The News to task. He asks, why squander your intelligence, attention, and time on anything that doesn’t help you advance your goals?
The News certainly doesn’t advance my goals – it usually makes me feel depressed and hopeless. Karima Bennounce’s TED talk about terrorism resistance reminded me of this. The news usually reports on religious fanatics in the Middle East, rather than the constant resistance that accompanies fanaticism. If I were hearing stories of brave people resisting terrorism every day, maybe I’d feel better after listening to news.
To this point MMM brings up the difference between ignorance vs efficiency, our circles of concern vs control, and proposes a low irrelevant information diet. But how to decide what’s relevant? World affairs concern me, but knowing about them doesn’t usually help me advance my goals.
Minimalism is about eliminating physical and mental clutter, including digital clutter. Jennifer Dziura writes about the benefits of unplugging: your productivity, focus, and creativity can soar without the constant pull of a cellphone and laptop. Does this apply to news as well?
Yet I’m embarrassed when world issues come up and I haven’t heard of them. Another one of Jen’s posts made me wonder about making the news do double duty: only listen while exercising or commuting, or only listen in your second language. Or there’s staying informed unconventionally, via CNN’s tweets or TED talks, or catching up on world news only one day a week.
What’s your strategy? How do you temper The News without condoning ignorance?