I've decided to tune out of daily news. "Number One, disengage."
We're bombarded with live updates from all over the world, about every catastrophe, ever disaster, every coup, every terrorist attack, every madman, every stupid shooting.
The information received today is very uptodate; which is another word for tentative, because the situation is still evolving, and no-one knows anything yet.
It is also not actionable by me - what could I possibly do about a coup in Turkey? <3 an article on Facebook, re-tweet a comment? I cannot influence what is happening, and it has no direct impact on my own actions, either.
So I'm left with feeling worried and powerless, which isn't a sensible combination.
Sure, I want to know what's going on; but I might as well read a weekly summary. Uptodate information is only relevant for situations I'm directly affected by, which is not true for most world news.
And sure, I want to act and exert influence. By making a political statement, voting (either in an election or with my money), by funding the right NGO which aligns with my values, by re-inforcing social values that matter to me. None of which are short-term decisions.
Being with someone in our thoughts, or just as pointlessly praying for them, doesn't help anyone. If we had really cared, we would have acted our utmost to prevent the tragedy of the day, and not lamenting after. Remember this the next time you have a chance to actually act.
And for that, yes, I want to know what's going on; but the whole story, not regurgitated snippets with minimal incremental additions. If it was important, it will be in the next week's Economist or BBC Weekly News. If it was really important, it will get analyzed and deepened over the next years.
There's really no point in staying glued to the news.
So if the next time you talk to me I have no idea what's going on: you're right. You may want to try it, too.