A Self-Imposed Media Fast

I’m tired of the relentless torrent of bad news coming from the media. I feel like I am stuck in a recession version of Ground Hog Day. The names and places change with each story, but underneath the veneer, it’s the same story-line:

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/bloodstone, Image #5404721

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/bloodstone
  • “We’re in a severe recession.”
  • “It’s the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”
  • “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
  • “There’s very little you can do about it.”

I don’t know about you, but this is not having a healthy impact on my psyche. Last night, after waking up again at 3:30 in the morning, I thought, Enough is enough. I don’t need the additional worry and fear that this is creating. It’s time to turn off the news.

I’m not sticking my head in the sand. I understand that we have a significant economic problem. But, in my opinion, the news media are exacerbating this problem with their reporting. They are systematically undermining consumer confidence. This is a case where reporting the news is actually causing the news.

The truth is that I can’t fix the global economy. As a result, the bad economic news is a waste of my time and energy. I need to be focused on what I can do to improve the performance of my own company and our industry. This means focusing on the future and forgetting the immediate past.

Therefore, effective immediately, I am taking the following four actions:

  1. I am stopping my morning habit of reading online editions of the daily news, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Tennessean and, especially, Drudge. (Note: I didn’t link to these publications on purpose.)
  2. I am removing any news-related feeds from Google Reader. I will continue to keep up with publishing and technology industry news, as well as my favorite bloggers. This more directly affects me.
  3. I am going to stop watching the Today Show, which I usually watch while I am getting ready for work. I am also going to leave the TV off in the evening. I usually have Fox News on in the background, but I’m going to play music instead.
  4. I am going to stop checking the stock market during the day. The market is volatile, so what? Do I really need to ride it up and down? I don’t think so. It’s going to do whatever it’s going to do.

I figure that if some big story happens I need to know, someone will tell me. In the meantime, I have more important things to do.

Question: How about you? Are you as tired of the news media as I am?
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  • http://www.chris-estes.com/2008/12/06/1-gallon-gas-by-2009/ Chris Estes

    Mike I just can’t do it. Maybe I am a gluten for punishment but I just can’t turn it off.

    It is depressing but just can’t bring myself to stop watching. If Im not watching it I am reading about it on the internet. It is everywhere I turn.

  • Douglas Schultz

    I agree. The media can certainly make the situation seem hopeless to the average consumer because of the continued focus on bad news.

  • http://www.lynnsquire.com Lynn Squire

    I agree with you. Years ago I reduced my “news” intake and find that it is much easier to take an eternal view of world events. I believe that I have a much healthier view of life because of that change. I don’t have all those thoughts and worries interfering with my communion with the Lord.

  • http://www.donnajshepherd.com Donna J. Shepherd

    Oh, yes! I’m with you 100%. It’s like it seeps right into your soul. In our culture, bad news is good news. I’ll join you for this fast.

  • http://michellependergrass.com Michelle Pendergrass

    I stopped watching/listening/reading media a long time ago. Best thing I ever did. :)

    I like reading blogs and interacting with people, it’s much more rewarding.

  • http://www.pathwaysforchange.com deni weber

    I oh so agree. We turned off the news a while back. There is so much negative that it wipes out any room for hope. In some ways the Chinese are smart. They look at things long term and are not unsettled by fluctuations daily, quarterly. We look at what the dow did compared to yesterday. As a country we are very short sighted and into instant gratification or instant catastrophizing and lose site of what is really important and what we can really do. My line has been that I’m sure if the world comes to an end … someone will tell me. Glad I’m not the only one feeling this way.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/rexhammock/ Rex Hammock

    Michael, I stopped watching local TV news years ago for a similar reason. The crime-filled, car-crash Nashville I saw on those reports had nothing to do with the Nashville I experienced in my life: a rather calm and easy-going kinda place. As I’ve written before, the coverage of this Recession is being modeled on the approaching hurricane coverage that the Weather Channel and CNN have honed.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/debjowen Deb

      Oh! I LOVE hurricane news! (HA) My years in Florida were fun that way! I mean….my goodness! You get to watch the size of the storm change and shift, increase and decrease. You get to learn the millions of little things, including the water temperature and wind currents, that could possibly maybe affect what the storm does. You get to see the absolute worst rushes to the stores. (You know, the one store that has run out of bread and milk, not to mention batteries and lumber.) You can get sucked in for *days* with heightened emotion only to have it die down to a tropical storm and not hit anywhere near your area.
      ;-)

      All the best!
      deb

      P.S. Yes. I realize the seriousness of hurricanes. But the coverage? Yeah. Prepare — or don't. But watching it for six days straight with all the ways the news covers it doesn't do you one. bit. of. good. ;-)

  • Jeremy Roe

    Hi Mike,

    I think this is a good decision. I’ll be interested in hearing how well you do keeping out the negative news. Made me think of this article — http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/11/15/192222 — Unhappy People Watch More TV.

  • http://tonymorganlive.com/ tony morgan

    when rush limbaugh started his radio show many moons ago, i used to listen to it daily. i noticed over time that i found myself angry at the world. i stopped listening to his show after several months. i may have had less information, but i was much happier.

    tony

    • http://EntrepreneurNextDoor.net John Olson

      I went cold turkey about 3 months ago. I wish I would have made the break a long, long time ago. I am much happier.

  • http://tonymorganlive.com tony morgan

    when rush limbaugh started his radio show many moons ago, i used to listen to it daily. i noticed over time that i found myself angry at the world. i stopped listening to his show after several months. i may have had less information, but i was much happier.

    tony

  • Jeremy Roe

    Hi Mike,

    I think this is a good decision. I’ll be interested in hearing how well you do keeping out the negative news. Made me think of this article — http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/11/15/192222 — Unhappy People Watch More TV.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/rexhammock/ Rex Hammock

    I’ll add one more thing: Michael, you and I are also lucky that we live in a city with a 12-1 NFL team that gives us some cheerful diversion, as well.

    • Bwenman

      Only place better is Wisconsin! :) Let’s hope we have a season next year!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/deneenwhite/ deneenwhite

    I recently updated my browser to Google Chrome. Now, instead of having MSN as my homepage, I have a listing of all of the pages I’ve visited. It certainly makes web browsing less stressful.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/deneenwhite/ deneenwhite

    I recently updated my browser to Google Chrome. Now, instead of having MSN as my homepage, I have a listing of all of the pages I’ve visited. It certainly makes web browsing less stressful.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/rexhammock/ Rex Hammock

    I’ll add one more thing: Michael, you and I are also lucky that we live in a city with a 12-1 NFL team that gives us some cheerful diversion, as well.

  • Vance

    I agree with you Mike. I kept waiting for the news to turn after the election but it hasn’t. Notice the snippets of info links on the internet news that sensationalize the negative or outrageous to grab your attention.
    We’ve started watching classic movies and comedies at home.
    Someone else made your recommendation to us a long time ago. It was Paul in Phillipians 4:8.
    I am with you.

  • Vance

    I agree with you Mike. I kept waiting for the news to turn after the election but it hasn’t. Notice the snippets of info links on the internet news that sensationalize the negative or outrageous to grab your attention.
    We’ve started watching classic movies and comedies at home.
    Someone else made your recommendation to us a long time ago. It was Paul in Phillipians 4:8.
    I am with you.

  • http://www.withoutwax.tv Pete Wilson

    I’m with you. I’m about two months into my fast and loving life!

  • Doug Moore

    Fear is not of God. God is in control. I just trust in him and it gives me joy.

  • http://www.doublehdesign.blogspot.com/ Lauren

    Completely. I have been only reading the cartoons, weird news & local “whine line” (short, short editorial where you call in & they print one or two lines in the paper) because sometimes things come up there that effect my job (I work in city government in traffic). Otherwise, I don’t read the paper anymore. Too depressing. And same with the news. I pretty much turn OFF the TV whenever I do watch the news for more then 5 minutes because it’s shoting after shoting or stock down, stock up, stock down. Yuk. So I watch a fun show or two and turn it off.

    Hats off to you for promoting this. An added benefit – not being bombarded with constant advertisements!

  • http://www.doublehdesign.blogspot.com Lauren

    Completely. I have been only reading the cartoons, weird news & local “whine line” (short, short editorial where you call in & they print one or two lines in the paper) because sometimes things come up there that effect my job (I work in city government in traffic). Otherwise, I don’t read the paper anymore. Too depressing. And same with the news. I pretty much turn OFF the TV whenever I do watch the news for more then 5 minutes because it’s shoting after shoting or stock down, stock up, stock down. Yuk. So I watch a fun show or two and turn it off.

    Hats off to you for promoting this. An added benefit – not being bombarded with constant advertisements!

  • http://www.flyovermarketing.com Kevin Behringer

    Michael:

    THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS!

    I have been saying for months that, while there are certainly huge factors at play here that have caused and continue to drive this downturn, it’s more than that.

    I truly wonder if it would have gotten as bad as it has without the constant news flow (read harbingers of bad news). I think of it as similar to how the concept of embedded reporters changed the view of the war in Iraq compared to past wars and the sentiment so many felt/feel toward the soldiers.

    Yes, there are significant economic factors at play, but I also think that it’s being driven further down by the constant stream of bad news.

    Kevin

  • http://www.nowitrustmyvitamins.com/ Karen Maxon

    Congratulations Michael! I cut way back on my news consumption when my mother was dying. She was a news addict, and it made her depressed and miserable. I honestly think it took away her will to live. She was pessimistic about the future. Now I am careful about what I let in to my mind. I’m not a Pollyanna by a long shot, and I am very aware of what is going on in the world. But what good will I do the world if I’m pessimistic and depressed and miserable? The brain is a plastic thing — I prefer to mold it to optimism.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/ripple/ Mike Landman

    Bravo MH! The general media understanding of economic news is poor at best. This is the same media that was reporting 12 months ago the you “had” to be in real estate. It’s always old news, but hearing it over and over makes it seem forward-thinking. I found that just ditching traditional TV was the best way.

    I blogged about that experience here: http://tinyurl.com/5bmd4w

  • Mark Russell

    Mike- I’m with you. If we ignore the media then they’ll change their tactics. They are also trying to avoid their own recession so they do whatever we’ll watch. We’re to blame for the incessant grumbling and complaining!

    Mark

  • http://www.idratherbecaving.blogspot.com Curtis Cecil

    Such great advice… I have been taking the same approach as it is, and always has been, ‘political’.

    Here is my favorite quote I think it goes right along with getting our heads out of the sand:

    “You can either take action or you can hang back and hope for a miracle. Miracles are great, but they are so unpredictable.”
    Peter Drucker (1909–2005)

  • Doug Smith

    Evidently one sector of the economy that is being hit especially hard is the media, to which one might say: “Poetic Justice”. I’ve been enduring my own little recession for the past few years while trying to boot-strap up a small business from nothing. No complaints, though. That’s just par for the course. But if the rest of the world now intends to have a recession, I emphatically choose not to participate. We’re doing a lot of creative new things and business is way up. I just filled up this morning for $1.32 per gallon. So thusfar, I’m liking the Obama Recession just fine.

  • Marc Vermut

    Totally agree with you and flashed on a good bit of Neil Postman’s theories regarding the invasion of media and it’s refocusing from local, pertinent issues to national, international issues that individuals can’t really impact.

    See http://www.neilpostman.org/ and “Amusing Ourselves to Death.”

  • http://profile.typekey.com/1225379962s19361/ Paul Martin

    Mike, thanks for the encouragement to focus on good things we can impact and away from news. I learned a lesson from my father that might drive the point home: http://advocace.typepad.com/paul_martin_grow/2008/12/driving-toward-opportunities-when-distractions-are-all-around.html

  • http://www.pastorbrett.com Brett

    I hope that your experience will bring new meaning to the old phrase, “No news is good news!”

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/petenikolai Pete Nikolai

    I am fond of C.S. Lewis’ perspective on making sure to read more old books than new. Perhaps we should include all modern media in that “new” category… http://tinyurl.com/68ucla

    • David

      Here here!

  • Steve Bradley

    I agree, but due to my business (real estate), I must keep up with the business news.
    However, just FYI, there are numerous positive signs in the California real estate market, at least;
    we are seeing multiple offers on properties that qualify as “bargains;” financing is actually available (for homeowners), and rates seem to be in decline. All this is contributing to a much stronger “on the ground” market than the national media would attest. There are many problems, of course, and you are right about media exacerbation, but for all that complaint, the real problems have been caused by market manipulations from the Federal Reserve and others, which have made this a much worse situation than it had to be.
    Steve Bradley
    24 years in real estate, and counting…
    God is in control…as usual!

  • Sandy B

    I agree wholeheartedly – did the same thing about a year ago. Now when Mom calls and says did you hear “so & so” on the news, she has to fill me in. She cannot understand why I do not watch. Guess I’ll just have to forward her your blog – thank you, Mike!

  • http://www.generatornetwork.com Mike Rapp, Generator LLC

    I completely shut off the news media the week of Thanksgiving. Right now, with few exceptions, there’s nothing that the news can offer me to look forward.

    As an aside, I and my family have become big fans of CBS Sunday Morning. We often go back and watch old episodes on TIVO. For a so-called secular magazine show, it is the most uplifting, compelling and creatively challenging thing I watch all week long.

  • http://AndyAndrews.com Andy Andrews

    Ha!

    Mike, you are the M A N !!! Welcome aboard. I have been doing this for a while. Believe me…if it gets bad enough, somebody will call you!

    I stopped listening to talk radio, too. Why? Because if I disagree, it makes me mad. And if I agree, that also makes me mad (because I can’t do anything about it). I finally decided that I cannot be the best husband, daddy, writer, speaker, or friend when I am mad. Hence the fast.

    Now, if I had only ignored the Alabama game last Saturday…

    Andy

    PS Florida’s Tim Tebow IS awesome. And it’s hard to beat a boy who wears bible verses on his eye paint. Roll Tide anyway.

  • http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com Rachelle

    Bravo, Mike. I’m not on a media fast but we haven’t watched any TV news programs in our home in years, mostly because we have two young kids and I don’t think it’s appropriate for them. I’ve found it’s much healthier and better for my state of mind. When I turn it back on, I just worry more. When something happens I really need to know, I find out on the Internet or someone tells me. I think you’ll be surprised how much you DON’T miss it.

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    I came to the same conclusion this morning! I closed my tab of Fox News and turned it off. Maybe I’ll tune in once every two weeks or so.

    The media is having a definite impact on the economy and it’s not a good one!

  • http://www.pamkumpe.com Pam Kumpe

    As a correspondent for a newspaper in Texas, and a columnist; my goal is to write inspiring and God focused stories.

    No need for a self-imposed medai fast in my section of the paper. Now, there are some news feeds I should read less of…

    I’m so grateful this paper allows me the chance to talke abour the Lord.

    http://www.texarkanagazette.com/ad/pdf/BCLweb.pdf

  • Cliff Muller

    If we could only get the entire country to go along with this! I own an independent Christian store in a town with very little unemployment and yet we’re having the same problems with recessionary thinking. Self-fulfilling prophecy is exactly what it is – we’re losing jobs because we’re afraid to lose jobs!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/elizabethmthompson/ Elizabeth Thompson

    I had to cut back on my news consumption just after the election. Then watched it intently while Mumbai was being attacked. My husband was scheduled to be in Mumbai right now. His business trip was cancelled, but I had a pretty good STRESS going for several days. Now I’m listening to Christmas music. Bad news can always find me, but good news I must seek.

  • Cliff Muller

    If we could only get the entire country to go along with this! I own an independent Christian store in a town with very little unemployment and yet we’re having the same problems with recessionary thinking. Self-fulfilling prophecy is exactly what it is – we’re losing jobs because we’re afraid to lose jobs!

  • http://www.crittyjoy.wordpress.com Christy

    I whole heartedly agree with you. I started a media fast several months ago. No news, no news channels, I check the weather online and I get 1 email each day from our local news source that I scan and that is it. I have found I am less stressed and less worried about things going on. I even did this on twitter (I followed several news organizations, well I did not stop following Anderson Cooper though…love him!) And I love now that my twitters are from people I want to read not the news.

    Blessings.

  • John Young

    While much of news seems like overstatement so do many of the responses. I do understand the calculated anger, bluster and outrage of people from Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck and I believe the point many wanted to make but didn’t is that your frustration is the repetition of information without solution from hosts who aren’t all that knowledgeable anyway. But hey, even if the genuises from Washington to my brokers at Merrill Lynch seem to be clueless how this happened and when it’s going to be over Mike’s solution is as extreme as his media appetitie/addiction.
    From Today Show (puhleeze) to Drudge, to NY Times, to USA and the Tennessean..man, that’s information overload and way out of kilter of the average person.
    For someone of your influence to say “I’m done with this for a while” seems along the line of those aggrivated with congress saying “heck with it, I ain’t voting.”
    I’m sure many who attend the Stepplechase or Belle Meade parties love all positives and blue skies talk but in a world of declining newspaper readership and masses not wanting to be inconvenienced by bad news, I’d counter by saying part of our problem was trusting too much and not asking enough questions and not staying informed to speak out and understand more than surface knowledge. Fine, know every detail of the Titans .. anything else we can talk about?

    Now that gas is down to 1.58, do you really think let’s just fill up, turn off that stinky ole radio and drive down I65 singing along with Amy Grant christmas cd’s is good. I applaude you for trying to end what I’d call a media addiction and predict you won’t be able to do this for long, but you’re going from one extreme to another.

    If you stick to this, play fair. Don’t have any staff meetings reporting on down book sales.

  • Joe Tye

    Pull the plug on the tragi-tainment industry :-)

    Joe Tye

  • Joe Tye

    Pull the plug on the tragi-tainment industry :-)

    Joe Tye

  • Douglas Schultz

    I agree. The media can certainly make the situation seem hopeless to the average consumer because of the continued focus on bad news.

  • http://www.chris-estes.com/2008/12/06/1-gallon-gas-by-2009/ Chris Estes

    Mike I just can't do it. Maybe I am a gluten for punishment but I just can't turn it off.

    It is depressing but just can't bring myself to stop watching. If Im not watching it I am reading about it on the internet. It is everywhere I turn.

  • http://www.lynnsquire.com/ Lynn Squire

    I agree with you. Years ago I reduced my "news" intake and find that it is much easier to take an eternal view of world events. I believe that I have a much healthier view of life because of that change. I don't have all those thoughts and worries interfering with my communion with the Lord.

  • http://thetuskarcave.blogspot.com Mark

    All I see here in the comments is more of the same yes-man mentality: “Oh yes Mike I agree whole heartedly, media is just awful! Here’s a link to my blog where I talk about it.” That’s garbage – we’ve allowed media to become awful. People are supposed to demand that the free press cover issues that protect their freedoms, but because the free press is a corporate entity, the news becomes driven by ratings rather than watchdogs. If you don’t like the news, find it somewhere else, there are plenty of good news sources from NPR, to the BBC. Just because American mainstream media doesn’t have the strength of character to deliver the news people NEED to hear doesn’t mean you should stop watching news altogether. You can say it’s not burrying your head in the sand all you want, but you are doing your country a disservice by not staying informed. Without the media we never would have uncovered watergate, or seen what war really meant through the Viet Nam war. People should not fear their governments, governments should fear their people – and media allows us to continue to be a nation led by the people. Oh yeah, here’s a link to my blog: http://thetuskarcave.blogspot.com.

  • http://www.donnajshepherd.com/ Donna J. Shepherd

    Oh, yes! I'm with you 100%. It's like it seeps right into your soul. In our culture, bad news is good news. I'll join you for this fast.

  • David in Nashville

    Thanks Michael. I have purposely tuned out the media since the election results were in. I knew it would take much more prayer and word study for me to get through each day effectively.
    I find that my wife cannot do the same…so I have a source of input whether I want it or not.

    I do not even turn on the TV on most days. The result is that I face each day prayed up and full of energy with only the positive results of my 2 hours with the Lord each morning.

    I could not do it otherwise. Thank you for sharing your viewpoint.

  • http://michellependergrass.com/ Michelle Pendergrass

    I stopped watching/listening/reading media a long time ago. Best thing I ever did. :)

    I like reading blogs and interacting with people, it's much more rewarding.

  • http://booksandboys.blogspot.com/ Max Elliot Anderson

    I had to do the same thing right after the election. I was simply burned out. I occasionally check in to see what’s happening, but I can’t take the constant drip, drip, drip of the news right now. And I couldn’t stand the political hype after it was all over. I’m sure this will pass in time, but it’s the only way I can cope for now. And I do still listen to Rush.

    Max Elliot Anderson
    http://booksandboys.blogspot.com

  • http://profile.typekey.com/rexhammock/ Rex Hammock

    Michael, I stopped watching local TV news years ago for a similar reason. The crime-filled, car-crash Nashville I saw on those reports had nothing to do with the Nashville I experienced in my life: a rather calm and easy-going kinda place. As I've written before, the coverage of this Recession is being modeled on the approaching hurricane coverage that the Weather Channel and CNN have honed.

  • http://www.pathwaysforchange.com/ deni weber

    I oh so agree. We turned off the news a while back. There is so much negative that it wipes out any room for hope. In some ways the Chinese are smart. They look at things long term and are not unsettled by fluctuations daily, quarterly. We look at what the dow did compared to yesterday. As a country we are very short sighted and into instant gratification or instant catastrophizing and lose site of what is really important and what we can really do. My line has been that I'm sure if the world comes to an end … someone will tell me. Glad I'm not the only one feeling this way.

  • Chuck Wilson

    As C.S. Lewis alledgedly said when asked why he did not read newspapers “I know enough about the depravity of man without having to read about it.

  • http://www.withoutwax.tv/ Pete Wilson

    I'm with you. I'm about two months into my fast and loving life!

  • Doug Moore

    Fear is not of God. God is in control. I just trust in him and it gives me joy.

  • http://www.flyovermarketing.com/ Kevin Behringer

    Michael:

    THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS!

    I have been saying for months that, while there are certainly huge factors at play here that have caused and continue to drive this downturn, it's more than that.

    I truly wonder if it would have gotten as bad as it has without the constant news flow (read harbingers of bad news). I think of it as similar to how the concept of embedded reporters changed the view of the war in Iraq compared to past wars and the sentiment so many felt/feel toward the soldiers.

    Yes, there are significant economic factors at play, but I also think that it's being driven further down by the constant stream of bad news.

    Kevin

  • http://www.paulwallis.net Paul Wallis

    I have lived without a TV for the last 20 years. It was a pragmatic chouce at the time. Now I’ve gotten used to having time at home for thinking, eating, talking etc. Then 3 yrs ago the car battery ran flat while my wife and I were on honeymoon so my media time while driving has gone. I don’t take a paper more than once a fortnight and YET…you’d be amazed at how easy it is to stay in touch.

    We are so saturated by information in our society that I feel that without these aids I am still as abreast on current affairs as any of my peers. Abreast enough to be politically engaged – I wrtie to my representatives (MPs) on matters of import – and to be able to discuss intelligently on latest events. And, yes, it is good not to be bombarded.

    Because most of our media is commercially driven it tends away from being truly informative to being sensational. ie If there’s nothing new to tell you about the recession tomorrow, they will make it sound like there is. “Fresh concerns today…etc” And so with a lot of issues we are given the impression that we ought to be much more anxious than we already are!

    So I say “Yes” and “Amen” to Michael Hyatt’s media fast. Bring it on!

  • http://www.nowitrustmyvitamins.com/ Karen Maxon

    Congratulations Michael! I cut way back on my news consumption when my mother was dying. She was a news addict, and it made her depressed and miserable. I honestly think it took away her will to live. She was pessimistic about the future. Now I am careful about what I let in to my mind. I'm not a Pollyanna by a long shot, and I am very aware of what is going on in the world. But what good will I do the world if I'm pessimistic and depressed and miserable? The brain is a plastic thing — I prefer to mold it to optimism.

  • http://www.teawithtiffany.blogspot.com Tiffany Stuart

    This made me jump inside. Yeah, you’re taking positive steps to guard your heart. And you are looking for ways to keep moving forward. Thank you for this encouraging post in dark times.

    I’m with you in how much news I will read or watch nowadays. It seems that fear is preferred angle of reporting. I see many are panicking because of this.

    I am intentionally taking this month as a season of “rest.” So I can focus on what really matters. It’s not thinking about recession. It’s a season to celebrate our Savior.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/ripple/ Mike Landman

    Bravo MH! The general media understanding of economic news is poor at best. This is the same media that was reporting 12 months ago the you "had" to be in real estate. It's always old news, but hearing it over and over makes it seem forward-thinking. I found that just ditching traditional TV was the best way.

    I blogged about that experience here: http://tinyurl.com/5bmd4w

  • Marc Vermut

    Totally agree with you and flashed on a good bit of Neil Postman's theories regarding the invasion of media and it's refocusing from local, pertinent issues to national, international issues that individuals can't really impact.

    See http://www.neilpostman.org/ and "Amusing Ourselves to Death."

  • Doug Smith

    Evidently one sector of the economy that is being hit especially hard is the media, to which one might say: "Poetic Justice". I've been enduring my own little recession for the past few years while trying to boot-strap up a small business from nothing. No complaints, though. That's just par for the course. But if the rest of the world now intends to have a recession, I emphatically choose not to participate. We're doing a lot of creative new things and business is way up. I just filled up this morning for $1.32 per gallon. So thusfar, I'm liking the Obama Recession just fine.

  • http://www.idratherbecaving.blogspot.com/ Curtis Cecil

    Such great advice… I have been taking the same approach as it is, and always has been, 'political'.

    Here is my favorite quote I think it goes right along with getting our heads out of the sand:

    "You can either take action or you can hang back and hope for a miracle. Miracles are great, but they are so unpredictable."
    Peter Drucker (1909–2005)

  • Mark Russell

    Mike- I'm with you. If we ignore the media then they'll change their tactics. They are also trying to avoid their own recession so they do whatever we'll watch. We're to blame for the incessant grumbling and complaining!

    Mark

  • http://cathy-davis.blogspot.com cathy davis

    I have been avoiding the news a lot lately too. I’ve almost quit watching the news altogether. However, when I do this consistently, I sometimes miss important information (I can’t tell you what right now though). I’m with you on the media fast, and I think I shall join you.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/petenikolai Pete Nikolai

    I am fond of C.S. Lewis' perspective on making sure to read more old books than new. Perhaps we should include all modern media in that "new" category… http://tinyurl.com/68ucla

    • David

      Here here!

  • http://www.pastorbrett.com/ Brett

    I hope that your experience will bring new meaning to the old phrase, "No news is good news!"

  • http://profile.typekey.com/1225379962s19361/ Paul Martin

    Mike, thanks for the encouragement to focus on good things we can impact and away from news. I learned a lesson from my father that might drive the point home: http://advocace.typepad.com/paul_martin_grow/2008

  • http://profile.typekey.com/1218236009s4731/ Eric S. Mueller

    I’ve long since come to ignore the news. I see little point to it. The local news in the Philadelphia area amounts to little more than “sports, murders, and mindless public interest stories”. I just can’t get over thinking that when they spend 20 minutes talking about the Eagles, what aren’t they telling us in that time frame.

    I don’t ignore news entirely. I just recognize that even the best news organs are businesses that sell advertising and the best way to draw eyes to that advertising is “if it bleeds, it leads”. Obviously, the less honest news organs are little more than spin factories. I don’t ignore it, but I do limit my feeds and I perform my own analysis of the information rather than letting them do my thinking for me.

  • Steve Bradley

    I agree, but due to my business (real estate), I must keep up with the business news.
    However, just FYI, there are numerous positive signs in the California real estate market, at least;
    we are seeing multiple offers on properties that qualify as "bargains;" financing is actually available (for homeowners), and rates seem to be in decline. All this is contributing to a much stronger "on the ground" market than the national media would attest. There are many problems, of course, and you are right about media exacerbation, but for all that complaint, the real problems have been caused by market manipulations from the Federal Reserve and others, which have made this a much worse situation than it had to be.
    Steve Bradley
    24 years in real estate, and counting…
    God is in control…as usual!

  • Laura

    Oh dear I am so sick of the news that I stopped watching and reading it too — I was going to rely on all you twitters to post if something important happened :0) I’m not even sure who to trust anymore – not even fox.

  • http://www.davidteems.com/wordpress David Teems

    It’s funny that this comes up. I flew in last night from Philadelphia. Sitting next to me on the plane was John Prine himself. I told him I’ve been humming one of his tunes for months now. Nicest guy you’ll ever meet. He’s the guy who gave us this song:

    Blow up your TV
    Throw away the paper
    Move to the country
    Build you a home
    Plant a little garden
    Eat a lot of peaches
    Try to find Jesus on your own.

    Benita and I stopped our cable TV 4 months ago. It was deliberate, and we’ve not missed a thing. The quality of our life improved greatly. My mind is clear, and I’ve suffered no cultural spoil. When we are in a home where the TV is on, it feels strange to us now.

    Great post, Mike.

    David

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    I wish I could say I had totally unplugged from all news sources, but what they offer really is bad for my psyche–and my ability to trust in the Lord. I rarely read a newspaper, anymore, and feel no remorse when I realize our local papers are having to make cutbacks. Sorry for those who lose their jobs, but our local publishers and editors do not listen to the people they hope will buy their goods.

    I volunteer for a charitable ministry, and that is where I need to focus–after family and home, and our business (we own a small one).

    At my husband’s request, I have managed both business and personal finances for over 7 years; I find it way too easy to get my eyes off of the One who has always taken care of us, if I follow the market, every day. I check our IRA’s every couple of weeks; we’re some $40,000 short of where we should have been, by now…and I have to remind myself often that our security is not in the stock market. It’s easier to do that, when I don’t check.

    And, yes, what Michael described is more in line with Philippians 4:8 than getting caught up in the negatives all around us. Congratulations, Michael, and let us know how this works out for you.

  • Sandy B

    I agree wholeheartedly – did the same thing about a year ago. Now when Mom calls and says did you hear "so & so" on the news, she has to fill me in. She cannot understand why I do not watch. Guess I'll just have to forward her your blog – thank you, Mike!

  • http://www.generatornetwork.com/ Mike Rapp, Generator

    I completely shut off the news media the week of Thanksgiving. Right now, with few exceptions, there's nothing that the news can offer me to look forward.

    As an aside, I and my family have become big fans of CBS Sunday Morning. We often go back and watch old episodes on TIVO. For a so-called secular magazine show, it is the most uplifting, compelling and creatively challenging thing I watch all week long.

  • http://AndyAndrews.com/ Andy Andrews

    Ha!

    Mike, you are the M A N !!! Welcome aboard. I have been doing this for a while. Believe me…if it gets bad enough, somebody will call you!

    I stopped listening to talk radio, too. Why? Because if I disagree, it makes me mad. And if I agree, that also makes me mad (because I can't do anything about it). I finally decided that I cannot be the best husband, daddy, writer, speaker, or friend when I am mad. Hence the fast.

    Now, if I had only ignored the Alabama game last Saturday…

    Andy

    PS Florida's Tim Tebow IS awesome. And it's hard to beat a boy who wears bible verses on his eye paint. Roll Tide anyway.

    • Bwenman

      Hi Andy! Love your new book! Go Pack!
      Bridget

  • http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/ Rachelle

    Bravo, Mike. I'm not on a media fast but we haven't watched any TV news programs in our home in years, mostly because we have two young kids and I don't think it's appropriate for them. I've found it's much healthier and better for my state of mind. When I turn it back on, I just worry more. When something happens I really need to know, I find out on the Internet or someone tells me. I think you'll be surprised how much you DON'T miss it.

  • http://www.colleencoble.com/ Colleen Coble

    I came to the same conclusion this morning! I closed my tab of Fox News and turned it off. Maybe I'll tune in once every two weeks or so.

    The media is having a definite impact on the economy and it's not a good one!

  • http://www.pamkumpe.com/ Pam Kumpe

    As a correspondent for a newspaper in Texas, and a columnist; my goal is to write inspiring and God focused stories.

    No need for a self-imposed medai fast in my section of the paper. Now, there are some news feeds I should read less of…

    I'm so grateful this paper allows me the chance to talke abour the Lord.
    http://www.texarkanagazette.com/ad/pdf/BCLweb.pdf

  • http://profile.typekey.com/elizabethmthompson/ Elizabeth Thompson

    I had to cut back on my news consumption just after the election. Then watched it intently while Mumbai was being attacked. My husband was scheduled to be in Mumbai right now. His business trip was cancelled, but I had a pretty good STRESS going for several days. Now I'm listening to Christmas music. Bad news can always find me, but good news I must seek.

  • http://www.rmabry.com Richard Mabry

    I record the local news in the morning and Kay and I watch it over coffee, but I fast-forward through the commercials and the bad stuff, letting us finish it in about 20 minutes! As for newspapers, I fell out of love with the Dallas News when they stopped carrying Tank McNamara and For Better Or For Worse. Now I read sports and the metro section only.
    Thanks for taking a stand!

  • Karen Grosse

    Mike,
    I congratulate you for taking this step! I agree with you completely.
    Several years ago I read Neil Postman’s book “How to Watch TV News….if you must.” I highly recommend it.
    I quit watching almost all TV news, cut back on the amount of online newspapers I read, and have never regretted it.
    You get a lot of information (or misinformation) from TV news, but there is very little that you can change by watching it.
    This is the Amazon short review of Neil’s book:

    “Television news : genuine information or entertainment fodder? Fifteen years ago, Neil Postman, a pioneer in media education and author of the bestselling Amusing Ourselves to Death, and Steve Powers, an award-winning broadcast journalist, concluded that anyone who relies exclusively on their television for accurate world news is making a big mistake.”

    If you read this book, Mike, I’d appreciate your comments on it, also.
    Karen Grosse

  • http://www.crittyjoy.wordpress.com/ Christy

    I whole heartedly agree with you. I started a media fast several months ago. No news, no news channels, I check the weather online and I get 1 email each day from our local news source that I scan and that is it. I have found I am less stressed and less worried about things going on. I even did this on twitter (I followed several news organizations, well I did not stop following Anderson Cooper though…love him!) And I love now that my twitters are from people I want to read not the news.

    Blessings.

  • John Young

    While much of news seems like overstatement so do many of the responses. I do understand the calculated anger, bluster and outrage of people from Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck and I believe the point many wanted to make but didn't is that your frustration is the repetition of information without solution from hosts who aren't all that knowledgeable anyway. But hey, even if the genuises from Washington to my brokers at Merrill Lynch seem to be clueless how this happened and when it's going to be over Mike's solution is as extreme as his media appetitie/addiction.
    From Today Show (puhleeze) to Drudge, to NY Times, to USA and the Tennessean..man, that's information overload and way out of kilter of the average person.
    For someone of your influence to say "I'm done with this for a while" seems along the line of those aggrivated with congress saying "heck with it, I ain't voting."
    I'm sure many who attend the Stepplechase or Belle Meade parties love all positives and blue skies talk but in a world of declining newspaper readership and masses not wanting to be inconvenienced by bad news, I'd counter by saying part of our problem was trusting too much and not asking enough questions and not staying informed to speak out and understand more than surface knowledge. Fine, know every detail of the Titans .. anything else we can talk about?

    Now that gas is down to 1.58, do you really think let's just fill up, turn off that stinky ole radio and drive down I65 singing along with Amy Grant christmas cd's is good. I applaude you for trying to end what I'd call a media addiction and predict you won't be able to do this for long, but you're going from one extreme to another.

    If you stick to this, play fair. Don't have any staff meetings reporting on down book sales.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/rachelanne/ Rachel Anne

    “Bad News Sells” is what we always say, and when we realized that most of the time we are buying fear and anger from the media, it helped us turn it waaaay down.

    I’ve found that I’m much more joyful in the moment, appreciative of my blessings and mindful of God’s working when I am not distracted by things I can’t control.

  • http://liquidoxology.wordpress.com/ Anette Ejsing

    I don’t have a TV, so that pretty much takes care of the overdosis syndrome…

    I say, throw that thing away.

  • http://sharonlavy.blogspot.com/ Sharon A Lavy

    Thank you for this post. God is still on His throne and we must live in the world as it is today. Yes the media just has bad news so let’s quit feeding on it.

    Thanks again for the post.

  • http://thetuskarcave.blogspot.com/ Mark

    All I see here in the comments is more of the same yes-man mentality: "Oh yes Mike I agree whole heartedly, media is just awful! Here's a link to my blog where I talk about it." That's garbage – we've allowed media to become awful. People are supposed to demand that the free press cover issues that protect their freedoms, but because the free press is a corporate entity, the news becomes driven by ratings rather than watchdogs. If you don't like the news, find it somewhere else, there are plenty of good news sources from NPR, to the BBC. Just because American mainstream media doesn't have the strength of character to deliver the news people NEED to hear doesn't mean you should stop watching news altogether. You can say it's not burrying your head in the sand all you want, but you are doing your country a disservice by not staying informed. Without the media we never would have uncovered watergate, or seen what war really meant through the Viet Nam war. People should not fear their governments, governments should fear their people – and media allows us to continue to be a nation led by the people. Oh yeah, here's a link to my blog: http://thetuskarcave.blogspot.com.

  • http://www.donnapartow.com Donna Partow

    I’ve done without TV most of my adult life. We had cable for a couple years (circa 2006-mid 2008) “just to watch football” and found it to be a complete waste of time, so we got rid of it again.

    IMHO, TV adds nothing while subtracting years from your life. I do follow some stories on the net, especially the situation with Robert Mugabe, who I think is Satan in human flesh.

    Once you walk away from TV for a few months, you don’t miss it at all. If you go for years (as I have) and are then confronted with it in a public place (restaurant, airport, whatever), it’s quite a shock to the system. The proverbial frog in the pot.

    In general, I believe we need to be more consciously selective about what we allow into our lives.

  • David in Nashville

    Thanks Michael. I have purposely tuned out the media since the election results were in. I knew it would take much more prayer and word study for me to get through each day effectively.
    I find that my wife cannot do the same…so I have a source of input whether I want it or not.

    I do not even turn on the TV on most days. The result is that I face each day prayed up and full of energy with only the positive results of my 2 hours with the Lord each morning.

    I could not do it otherwise. Thank you for sharing your viewpoint.

  • http://booksandboys.blogspot.com/ Max Elliot Anderson

    I had to do the same thing right after the election. I was simply burned out. I occasionally check in to see what's happening, but I can't take the constant drip, drip, drip of the news right now. And I couldn't stand the political hype after it was all over. I'm sure this will pass in time, but it's the only way I can cope for now. And I do still listen to Rush.

    Max Elliot Anderson http://booksandboys.blogspot.com

  • Chuck Wilson

    As C.S. Lewis alledgedly said when asked why he did not read newspapers "I know enough about the depravity of man without having to read about it.

  • http://www.paulwallis.net/ Paul Wallis

    I have lived without a TV for the last 20 years. It was a pragmatic chouce at the time. Now I've gotten used to having time at home for thinking, eating, talking etc. Then 3 yrs ago the car battery ran flat while my wife and I were on honeymoon so my media time while driving has gone. I don't take a paper more than once a fortnight and YET…you'd be amazed at how easy it is to stay in touch.

    We are so saturated by information in our society that I feel that without these aids I am still as abreast on current affairs as any of my peers. Abreast enough to be politically engaged – I wrtie to my representatives (MPs) on matters of import – and to be able to discuss intelligently on latest events. And, yes, it is good not to be bombarded.

    Because most of our media is commercially driven it tends away from being truly informative to being sensational. ie If there's nothing new to tell you about the recession tomorrow, they will make it sound like there is. "Fresh concerns today…etc" And so with a lot of issues we are given the impression that we ought to be much more anxious than we already are!

    So I say "Yes" and "Amen" to Michael Hyatt's media fast. Bring it on!

  • http://www.teawithtiffany.blogspot.com/ Tiffany Stuart

    This made me jump inside. Yeah, you're taking positive steps to guard your heart. And you are looking for ways to keep moving forward. Thank you for this encouraging post in dark times.

    I'm with you in how much news I will read or watch nowadays. It seems that fear is preferred angle of reporting. I see many are panicking because of this.

    I am intentionally taking this month as a season of "rest." So I can focus on what really matters. It's not thinking about recession. It's a season to celebrate our Savior.

  • http://cathy-davis.blogspot.com/ cathy davis

    I have been avoiding the news a lot lately too. I've almost quit watching the news altogether. However, when I do this consistently, I sometimes miss important information (I can't tell you what right now though). I'm with you on the media fast, and I think I shall join you.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/1218236009s4731/ Eric S. Mueller

    I've long since come to ignore the news. I see little point to it. The local news in the Philadelphia area amounts to little more than "sports, murders, and mindless public interest stories". I just can't get over thinking that when they spend 20 minutes talking about the Eagles, what aren't they telling us in that time frame.

    I don't ignore news entirely. I just recognize that even the best news organs are businesses that sell advertising and the best way to draw eyes to that advertising is "if it bleeds, it leads". Obviously, the less honest news organs are little more than spin factories. I don't ignore it, but I do limit my feeds and I perform my own analysis of the information rather than letting them do my thinking for me.

  • Laura

    Oh dear I am so sick of the news that I stopped watching and reading it too — I was going to rely on all you twitters to post if something important happened :0) I'm not even sure who to trust anymore – not even fox.

  • http://www.davidteems.com/wordpress David Teems

    It's funny that this comes up. I flew in last night from Philadelphia. Sitting next to me on the plane was John Prine himself. I told him I've been humming one of his tunes for months now. Nicest guy you'll ever meet. He's the guy who gave us this song:

    Blow up your TV
    Throw away the paper
    Move to the country
    Build you a home
    Plant a little garden
    Eat a lot of peaches
    Try to find Jesus on your own.

    Benita and I stopped our cable TV 4 months ago. It was deliberate, and we've not missed a thing. The quality of our life improved greatly. My mind is clear, and I've suffered no cultural spoil. When we are in a home where the TV is on, it feels strange to us now.

    Great post, Mike.

    David

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    I wish I could say I had totally unplugged from all news sources, but what they offer really is bad for my psyche–and my ability to trust in the Lord. I rarely read a newspaper, anymore, and feel no remorse when I realize our local papers are having to make cutbacks. Sorry for those who lose their jobs, but our local publishers and editors do not listen to the people they hope will buy their goods.

    I volunteer for a charitable ministry, and that is where I need to focus–after family and home, and our business (we own a small one).

    At my husband's request, I have managed both business and personal finances for over 7 years; I find it way too easy to get my eyes off of the One who has always taken care of us, if I follow the market, every day. I check our IRA's every couple of weeks; we're some $40,000 short of where we should have been, by now…and I have to remind myself often that our security is not in the stock market. It's easier to do that, when I don't check.

    And, yes, what Michael described is more in line with Philippians 4:8 than getting caught up in the negatives all around us. Congratulations, Michael, and let us know how this works out for you.

  • Karen Grosse

    Mike,
    I congratulate you for taking this step! I agree with you completely.
    Several years ago I read Neil Postman's book "How to Watch TV News….if you must." I highly recommend it.
    I quit watching almost all TV news, cut back on the amount of online newspapers I read, and have never regretted it.
    You get a lot of information (or misinformation) from TV news, but there is very little that you can change by watching it.
    This is the Amazon short review of Neil's book:

    "Television news : genuine information or entertainment fodder? Fifteen years ago, Neil Postman, a pioneer in media education and author of the bestselling Amusing Ourselves to Death, and Steve Powers, an award-winning broadcast journalist, concluded that anyone who relies exclusively on their television for accurate world news is making a big mistake."

    If you read this book, Mike, I'd appreciate your comments on it, also.
    Karen Grosse

  • http://www.rmabry.com/ Richard Mabry

    I record the local news in the morning and Kay and I watch it over coffee, but I fast-forward through the commercials and the bad stuff, letting us finish it in about 20 minutes! As for newspapers, I fell out of love with the Dallas News when they stopped carrying Tank McNamara and For Better Or For Worse. Now I read sports and the metro section only.
    Thanks for taking a stand!

  • Mary

    Michael, I fully support your plan. I have been scaling back for years now, and cut back even more when the prez campaign got simply too much for me this year. And you are right, you will find out quickly enough about something you really need to know. Glad you wrote the post to get others thinking about this.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/rachelanne/ Rachel Anne

    "Bad News Sells" is what we always say, and when we realized that most of the time we are buying fear and anger from the media, it helped us turn it waaaay down.

    I've found that I'm much more joyful in the moment, appreciative of my blessings and mindful of God's working when I am not distracted by things I can't control.

  • http://www.PFMinistries.com Paula Friedrichsen

    I love this post! Yes, amen, I agree completely.

  • http://liquidoxology.wordpress.com/ Anette Ejsing

    I don't have a TV, so that pretty much takes care of the overdosis syndrome…

    I say, throw that thing away.

  • http://sharonlavy.blogspot.com/ Sharon A Lavy

    Thank you for this post. God is still on His throne and we must live in the world as it is today. Yes the media just has bad news so let's quit feeding on it.

    Thanks again for the post.

  • http://evaulian-thebestoftheworst.blogspot.com/ Eva Ulian

    I have a radio-clock alarm that wakes me up with the news, however at that time, I am not in a fit state to let anything sink in. I watch a mid-day and an evening news bulletin from Italian TV and occasionally BBC World: the rest I get snippets from Twitter, believe it or not. Sorry, but I don’t feel any doom at all maybe because the media here hardly mentions the recession and the present Prime Minister has just said the Italians have little to worry about because as they are like ants and great savers our funds are the safest in the world- Do you know what Italy’s national debt is???

    My doom and gloom reached exasperation point about a year ago when with a left-wing government who were never able to make a decision at any time there was so much stagnation in the air it seemed a perennial heavy cloud was fixed over my head, seeing no way out, forwards or backwards.

    What I’m getting at is, if you trust or feel confident in the Guy who is running the country you don’t feel, see or hear all the doom and gloom surrounding you. To regain hope, you need to feel you are in good hands, blaming the media is just side-tracking the issue- I think.

  • http://www.donnapartow.com/ Donna Partow

    I've done without TV most of my adult life. We had cable for a couple years (circa 2006-mid 2008) "just to watch football" and found it to be a complete waste of time, so we got rid of it again.

    IMHO, TV adds nothing while subtracting years from your life. I do follow some stories on the net, especially the situation with Robert Mugabe, who I think is Satan in human flesh.

    Once you walk away from TV for a few months, you don't miss it at all. If you go for years (as I have) and are then confronted with it in a public place (restaurant, airport, whatever), it's quite a shock to the system. The proverbial frog in the pot.

    In general, I believe we need to be more consciously selective about what we allow into our lives.

  • http://www.perkypaula.blogspot.com Paula Lipper

    I have limited my news consumption – no newspaper and little. I just wish people did not believe everything they hear or read. Working for a community bank, I have been trying to explain why no one is really lowering everyone’s mortgage interest rate to 4.50% for days now.

  • http://www.perkypaula.blogspot.com Paula Lipper

    Little TV, that is…

  • http://emilysutherland.wordpress.com/ Emily

    I started tuning out mid-election… and the economic downturn sealed the deal. What will all this mulling- things-over and hand-wringing accomplish for us? Ulcers?! I say let’s conserve, be smart, help our neighbors and think about ways we can personally contribute to making our community better rather spending our time freaking out over the stuff we can’t control.

  • Mary

    Michael, I fully support your plan. I have been scaling back for years now, and cut back even more when the prez campaign got simply too much for me this year. And you are right, you will find out quickly enough about something you really need to know. Glad you wrote the post to get others thinking about this.

  • http://www.PFMinistries.com/ Paula Friedrichsen

    I love this post! Yes, amen, I agree completely.

  • http://evaulian-thebestoftheworst.blogspot.com/ Eva Ulian

    I have a radio-clock alarm that wakes me up with the news, however at that time, I am not in a fit state to let anything sink in. I watch a mid-day and an evening news bulletin from Italian TV and occasionally BBC World: the rest I get snippets from Twitter, believe it or not. Sorry, but I don't feel any doom at all maybe because the media here hardly mentions the recession and the present Prime Minister has just said the Italians have little to worry about because as they are like ants and great savers our funds are the safest in the world- Do you know what Italy's national debt is???

    My doom and gloom reached exasperation point about a year ago when with a left-wing government who were never able to make a decision at any time there was so much stagnation in the air it seemed a perennial heavy cloud was fixed over my head, seeing no way out, forwards or backwards.

    What I'm getting at is, if you trust or feel confident in the Guy who is running the country you don't feel, see or hear all the doom and gloom surrounding you. To regain hope, you need to feel you are in good hands, blaming the media is just side-tracking the issue- I think.

  • Richard

    Great advice! I just removed NY Times from my twitter feed (ironically after reading 3 articles about the recession) and I already feel happier!

  • http://www.perkypaula.blogspot.com/ Paula Lipper

    I have limited my news consumption – no newspaper and little. I just wish people did not believe everything they hear or read. Working for a community bank, I have been trying to explain why no one is really lowering everyone's mortgage interest rate to 4.50% for days now.

  • http://www.perkypaula.blogspot.com/ Paula Lipper

    Little TV, that is…

  • http://www.bradreynolds.com Brad Reynolds

    It’s funny… I cut out tv a few years ago for a while. It was during that time my songwriting became more productive and I spent less time on the couch. I have kids so I eventually gave in to their request for cable, but I may revisit this idea. Thanks for bringing it up.

  • http://emilysutherland.wordpress.com/ Emily

    I started tuning out mid-election… and the economic downturn sealed the deal. What will all this mulling- things-over and hand-wringing accomplish for us? Ulcers?! I say let's conserve, be smart, help our neighbors and think about ways we can personally contribute to making our community better rather spending our time freaking out over the stuff we can't control.

  • http://www.john-gallagher.blogspot.com John Gallagher

    Michael, I think your post is spot on. I had this discussion with a group of friends recently. The media DOES exacerbate the problem. I do believe that this news will change so I suggest you turn your news back on January 21, 2009. I believe the media will change it’s tune. Having said this, I also last week turned off my Portfolio on my home page. No reason to watch that mess as it would drive me somewhere I don’t want to go! Thanks for sharing.

  • Richard

    Great advice! I just removed NY Times from my twitter feed (ironically after reading 3 articles about the recession) and I already feel happier!

  • Gail Hyatt

    This reminds me of the very first ad campaign you designed for Word Publishing, “Turn It Off and Read a Book.” That was back in 1980. We’re slow learners.

    In order for this to work at the Hyatt house, we have to both be on board, so I am officially on board. I’m actually getting excited about what we can do in the evenings instead of watching FOX News. (grin)

    I love you. You’re courageous! Let’s do it!
    Your wife.

  • http://www.bradreynolds.com/ Brad Reynolds

    It's funny… I cut out tv a few years ago for a while. It was during that time my songwriting became more productive and I spent less time on the couch. I have kids so I eventually gave in to their request for cable, but I may revisit this idea. Thanks for bringing it up.

  • http://whadusay2.blogspot.com Megan

    Great post! On a typical day I don’t come into contact with the news on a regular basis.

    I am a stay-at-home mom, so I don’t like the TV on, with small kids it just makes more noise and is not a trustworthy medium.

    I generally stick to mom and publishing blogs (odd mix, but I am the director of publishing for a small ministry).

    I have found when I do expose myself to the news, my tendency is to worry about things I can’t change. So, I try to avoid the news at all cost. I don’t need the worry!

  • http://www.maryrsnyder.com Mary

    I’m with you. I’m finished. The bad news of the economy is just overwhelming. My word it’s ridiculous.
    I work with abused children and this is a true tragedy. Sadly, it’s not a tragedy that gets much media attention.

    I’m worried about the economic downturn, but for different reasons. I’m worried that with rising prices and unemployment more children will be abused (statistics support this)and our small non-profit won’t be able to handle the additional cases.
    I’m saddened that so many are worried about giving up their discretional spending when there are children who just need someone, anyone, to care for them and give them a safe, stable home.

    Now that deserves some media time.

  • http://www.thischangesnothing.com Michael Covington

    I wonder if any of the major news aggregators or network executives will get wind of this. Maybe someone will get the wise idea to begin reporting on things that lift the human spirit. Maybe the news can be redeemed…okay maybe not.

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com Kimmi

    Attitude and gratitudes go a long way as well faith and belief!

    You’re going to be hampered by fear if you don’t have faith, belief.

    Fear kills creativity–productivity. It doesn’t have to be a great or overwhelming fear, just enough to make belief murky, kinda like a drop of raw sewage added to a gallon jug of pure spring water, fear stifles us; but belief clears us and frees the productive creativity in us.

    No, NO! The sky is NOT falling, just dig deeper and you’ll see, we’ve all been given an umbrella. His.

  • http://www.john-gallagher.blogspot.com/ John Gallagher

    Michael, I think your post is spot on. I had this discussion with a group of friends recently. The media DOES exacerbate the problem. I do believe that this news will change so I suggest you turn your news back on January 21, 2009. I believe the media will change it's tune. Having said this, I also last week turned off my Portfolio on my home page. No reason to watch that mess as it would drive me somewhere I don't want to go! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://bodynaturalsoap.blogspot.com/2008/12/bees-wax-winners.html Bodynaturalsoap

    I agree. I have always said that the media will find the negative with any story. Perfect example is when the gas prices rose, that was doom and gloom. Now that gas prices have dropped, they have found a way to make that a bad thing. Its all bad news.

  • Gail Hyatt

    This reminds me of the very first ad campaign you designed for Word Publishing, "Turn It Off and Read a Book." That was back in 1980. We're slow learners.

    In order for this to work at the Hyatt house, we have to both be on board, so I am officially on board. I'm actually getting excited about what we can do in the evenings instead of watching FOX News. (grin)

    I love you. You're courageous! Let's do it!
    Your wife.

  • http://www.transparentchristianmagazine.com Jason Elkins

    I expressed my frustration with a particular media topic today to a co-worker.

    He said “I thought you agreed with that!” I replied “I do, I just don’t want it to be force fed to me, day in and day out”.

    Great and relevant post today. Keep us informed on the withdraw symptoms… I am rethinking my evening rituals as I write this comment.

  • http://whadusay2.blogspot.com/ Megan

    Great post! On a typical day I don't come into contact with the news on a regular basis.

    I am a stay-at-home mom, so I don't like the TV on, with small kids it just makes more noise and is not a trustworthy medium.

    I generally stick to mom and publishing blogs (odd mix, but I am the director of publishing for a small ministry).

    I have found when I do expose myself to the news, my tendency is to worry about things I can't change. So, I try to avoid the news at all cost. I don't need the worry!

  • http://www.maryrsnyder.com/ Mary

    I'm with you. I'm finished. The bad news of the economy is just overwhelming. My word it's ridiculous.
    I work with abused children and this is a true tragedy. Sadly, it's not a tragedy that gets much media attention.

    I'm worried about the economic downturn, but for different reasons. I'm worried that with rising prices and unemployment more children will be abused (statistics support this)and our small non-profit won't be able to handle the additional cases.
    I'm saddened that so many are worried about giving up their discretional spending when there are children who just need someone, anyone, to care for them and give them a safe, stable home.

    Now that deserves some media time.

  • Tony Pugh

    Cool quote: The early morning breezes have secrets to tell, don’t go back to sleep. Could be God calling, could be the pizza :)

  • http://www.thischangesnothing.com/ Michael Covington

    I wonder if any of the major news aggregators or network executives will get wind of this. Maybe someone will get the wise idea to begin reporting on things that lift the human spirit. Maybe the news can be redeemed…okay maybe not.

  • Dan Lagden

    I live here in Sydney Australia and we are doing well I feel. Interest rates have come down dramatically and petrol has come down from $1.60/litre to 96c/litre. This is more than $100 a week back into the pockets of most Australians with an average mortgage. However the media wants to sensationalise everything for one reason only… to get the ratings which will generate advertising income for them. Talking up a recession becomes a self full filling prophesy just like it did in South East Asia a few years ago. God is higher and bigger than all of this and I aim to stay confident and positive in His promises and thats the headline that excites me!

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com/ Kimmi

    Attitude and gratitudes go a long way as well faith and belief!

    You're going to be hampered by fear if you don't have faith, belief.

    Fear kills creativity–productivity. It doesn't have to be a great or overwhelming fear, just enough to make belief murky, kinda like a drop of raw sewage added to a gallon jug of pure spring water, fear stifles us; but belief clears us and frees the productive creativity in us.

    No, NO! The sky is NOT falling, just dig deeper and you'll see, we've all been given an umbrella. His.

  • http://bodynaturalsoap.blogspot.com/2008/12/bees-wax-winners.html Bodynaturalsoap

    I agree. I have always said that the media will find the negative with any story. Perfect example is when the gas prices rose, that was doom and gloom. Now that gas prices have dropped, they have found a way to make that a bad thing. Its all bad news.

  • http://www.transparentchristianmagazine.com/ Jason Elkins

    I expressed my frustration with a particular media topic today to a co-worker.

    He said "I thought you agreed with that!" I replied "I do, I just don't want it to be force fed to me, day in and day out".

    Great and relevant post today. Keep us informed on the withdraw symptoms… I am rethinking my evening rituals as I write this comment.

  • Sarah Stambler

    I lived without TV or newspapers for over 20 years and missed major decades and lived in my own world.

    I think turning off the news to achieve peace of mind and dodge all the negative reporting is like being an ostrich with its head in the sand.

    If the media is twisting and spinning things we need to attack them not drop out and tune out. What good are a lot of folks who only know by hearsay what is going on in the world?

    This seems to be narcissistic thinking. Leave the media to the dogs and let the meek be dominated by the headlines. What are we blogging for? Obviously we want impact and influence. Surely we can come up with a better plan than tuning out.

  • Tony Pugh

    Cool quote: The early morning breezes have secrets to tell, don't go back to sleep. Could be God calling, could be the pizza :)

  • Dan Lagden

    I live here in Sydney Australia and we are doing well I feel. Interest rates have come down dramatically and petrol has come down from $1.60/litre to 96c/litre. This is more than $100 a week back into the pockets of most Australians with an average mortgage. However the media wants to sensationalise everything for one reason only… to get the ratings which will generate advertising income for them. Talking up a recession becomes a self full filling prophesy just like it did in South East Asia a few years ago. God is higher and bigger than all of this and I aim to stay confident and positive in His promises and thats the headline that excites me!

  • http://addiesmidnightramblings.blogspot.com/ Addie Owens-Donovan

    AMEN!

    I cut my cable out of our home more than a year ago and the timing was perfect! I don’t miss the news at all! When I want to know what is happening in our community I can filter through online myself. The headlines are disturbing enough! Why envelop ourselves with constant oppressive news? We need reassurance, and HOPE for the future… It’s up to Publishers such as Thomas Nelson to enusre that happens! Online, in print, etc… Let’s start a Good News Revolution!

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Mike, I used to be a news junkie REALLY bad. When I started to feel conviction that I was watching too much I started recorded the evening news so I could watch it newspaper style, skipping commercials and items not of interest.

    I was still convicted that I spent too much time on news. Now I just scan the front page of my husband’s newspaper as I cover the length of our rural driveway. If I want to know more I’ll look up an online article. I’ve done this for the last several years and have no regrets. I’ve been set free.

    WARNING: fill that vacuum with something good, or it will suck up whatever falls into it. There’s nothing better to fill it with—especially first thing in the morning—than God’s Word. I promise.

    I’ll be praying for you. Psalm 127.2 Psalm 4.8

  • Dr. Bob

    I agree with Mike completely. I do still read my local paper daily, but am selective about what stories I read. I don’t watch any of the TV/cable news channels.

    Most of the financial and economics reporting is of horrendously poor quality anyway.

    I don’t watch stock prices at all during the week. I have reasonably solid investments and a long enough time horizon that the day-to-day, “yo-yo mode” of the stock market doesn’t matter.

    I do have a circle of blogs that I read regularly.

    One of the simple pleasures I’ve discovered since turning off the news is the classical music channel on my satellite TV provider.

    I’m an IT guy by profession and one of the well-known phrases in the business is GIGO – “garbage in, garbage out”, meaning the output of a computing system is no better than the input to the system. That’s true with the human mind as well – I prefer a different GIGO – “goodness in, goodness out” or even EIEO – “excellence in, excellence out”.

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    P.S. For hands free Scripture in the A.M., there’s a fantastic, award-winning audio Bible on the market: Word of Life New Testament, by … Thomas Nelson. [The book of Revelation is not to be missed!] ;-)

  • Sarah Stambler

    I lived without TV or newspapers for over 20 years and missed major decades and lived in my own world.

    I think turning off the news to achieve peace of mind and dodge all the negative reporting is like being an ostrich with its head in the sand.

    If the media is twisting and spinning things we need to attack them not drop out and tune out. What good are a lot of folks who only know by hearsay what is going on in the world?

    This seems to be narcissistic thinking. Leave the media to the dogs and let the meek be dominated by the headlines. What are we blogging for? Obviously we want impact and influence. Surely we can come up with a better plan than tuning out.

  • http://addiesmidnightramblings.blogspot.com/ Addie Owens-Donovan

    AMEN!

    I cut my cable out of our home more than a year ago and the timing was perfect! I don't miss the news at all! When I want to know what is happening in our community I can filter through online myself. The headlines are disturbing enough! Why envelop ourselves with constant oppressive news? We need reassurance, and HOPE for the future… It's up to Publishers such as Thomas Nelson to enusre that happens! Online, in print, etc… Let's start a Good News Revolution!

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Mike, I used to be a news junkie REALLY bad. When I started to feel conviction that I was watching too much I started recorded the evening news so I could watch it newspaper style, skipping commercials and items not of interest.

    I was still convicted that I spent too much time on news. Now I just scan the front page of my husband's newspaper as I cover the length of our rural driveway. If I want to know more I'll look up an online article. I've done this for the last several years and have no regrets. I've been set free.

    WARNING: fill that vacuum with something good, or it will suck up whatever falls into it. There's nothing better to fill it with—especially first thing in the morning—than God's Word. I promise.

    I'll be praying for you. Psalm 127.2 Psalm 4.8

  • Dr. Bob

    I agree with Mike completely. I do still read my local paper daily, but am selective about what stories I read. I don't watch any of the TV/cable news channels.

    Most of the financial and economics reporting is of horrendously poor quality anyway.

    I don't watch stock prices at all during the week. I have reasonably solid investments and a long enough time horizon that the day-to-day, "yo-yo mode" of the stock market doesn't matter.

    I do have a circle of blogs that I read regularly.

    One of the simple pleasures I've discovered since turning off the news is the classical music channel on my satellite TV provider.

    I'm an IT guy by profession and one of the well-known phrases in the business is GIGO – "garbage in, garbage out", meaning the output of a computing system is no better than the input to the system. That's true with the human mind as well – I prefer a different GIGO – "goodness in, goodness out" or even EIEO – "excellence in, excellence out".

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    P.S. For hands free Scripture in the A.M., there's a fantastic, award-winning audio Bible on the market: Word of Life New Testament, by … Thomas Nelson. [The book of Revelation is not to be missed!] ;-)

  • http://isabellavacani.blogspot.com Contessa Isabella Vacani

    Indeed. There is nothing we can do about the mind games and the ugly -and- it- gets- uglier news the banksters and financial experts/twits are feeding us.

    I write WAY OUTSIDE the box so I have never wasted my precious time with any publisher or agent.

    Go east people, go east. That would be the Orient. If you speak excellent Castilian/Spanish send your manuscripts to Spain, South America or even Cuba. People there read a great deal

    The publishing industry is their own worst enemy. I am waiting for things to get worse, ah! they will.And then I shall put together a group of friends/writers from the U.S. and the E. U. and pounce on one of them. We will make them an offer they can’t refuse.

    As Harold Geneen. a genius as far as money was concerned always said” Every company can survive anything except running out of money.”

    Contessa Isabella Vacani
    from the Italian Riviera

  • http://isabellavacani.blogspot.com/ Contessa Isabella Va

    Indeed. There is nothing we can do about the mind games and the ugly -and- it- gets- uglier news the banksters and financial experts/twits are feeding us.

    I write WAY OUTSIDE the box so I have never wasted my precious time with any publisher or agent.

    Go east people, go east. That would be the Orient. If you speak excellent Castilian/Spanish send your manuscripts to Spain, South America or even Cuba. People there read a great deal

    The publishing industry is their own worst enemy. I am waiting for things to get worse, ah! they will.And then I shall put together a group of friends/writers from the U.S. and the E. U. and pounce on one of them. We will make them an offer they can't refuse.

    As Harold Geneen. a genius as far as money was concerned always said" Every company can survive anything except running out of money."

    Contessa Isabella Vacani
    from the Italian Riviera

  • http://www.EricMackOnline.com Eric Mack

    Great post, Michael. In April of this year I blogged about my experience going on an internet diet – media free. Its been an interesting experience with many productive benefits.

    http://www.notesonproductivity.com/ICA/NOP.nsf/dx/how-i-went-on-an-internet-diet-and-gained-30-minutes-a-day

    Grace to you!

    Eric

  • http://www.EricMackOnline.com/ Eric Mack

    Great post, Michael. In April of this year I blogged about my experience going on an internet diet – media free. Its been an interesting experience with many productive benefits.
    http://www.notesonproductivity.com/ICA/NOP.nsf/dx

    Grace to you!

    Eric

  • Gail

    Several years ago God clearly told me to protect my spirit. The first thing I did was to turn off television news, especially the local ones who sensationalize the bad things.

    I limit myself to one viewing of the national news in the evening. I only read the positive news stories on the internet. I choose to listen to music and I read books for in depth information.

    I am more selective in all my TV viewing and use the off button freqently. I have effectively turned of the world’s influence. It has been transformational!

    As a French philosopher said, “We are the choices we make.” I am a much happier person and just as informed as I need to be.

    I’m delighted to see so many others are sharing my experience. It is a less stressful and much healthier way to live

  • http://www.yourvirtualadvantage.com Kathy

    Our news sucks the life out of me. I feel like I need to stay informed, so I watch the BBC. It’s less sensational…I just get the information.

  • http://davidjhinson.wordpress.com David J. Hinson

    I’m not sure “la-la-la I can’t hear you” is the appropriate response here.

    Especially for the CEO of your stature, Michael.

    I think that’s why the CEOs of Ford (well, they backed out last I heard), Chrysler, and GM are spending their days driving to a fro in their hybrids, hats in hand, to Congress. They chose not to listen to what was actually happening, and are paying the price.

    Yeah, news is often unpleasant.

    However, somebody HAS to wear the big boy / big girl underwear and “be the grown up.”

    Especially the CEO.

  • http://twitter.com/LarryHuffman Larry Huffman

    I have been slowing weaning myself from the news feed since the election. I’ve curtailed reading the Washington Post and have gone to online only for the WSJ, and limit that.

  • Linda Rue

    Mike, Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I read your comment and rejoiced! I just can’t take the bad news every minute of the day and I find that it undermines my peace and effects my writing. Regardless of what they report, God is in control. He is not surprised by any of this so I can rest in him! Thanks again!

  • Gail

    Several years ago God clearly told me to protect my spirit. The first thing I did was to turn off television news, especially the local ones who sensationalize the bad things.

    I limit myself to one viewing of the national news in the evening. I only read the positive news stories on the internet. I choose to listen to music and I read books for in depth information.

    I am more selective in all my TV viewing and use the off button freqently. I have effectively turned of the world's influence. It has been transformational!

    As a French philosopher said, "We are the choices we make." I am a much happier person and just as informed as I need to be.

    I'm delighted to see so many others are sharing my experience. It is a less stressful and much healthier way to live

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @David Hinson: Evidently, you missed the part I where I said, “I will continue to keep up with publishing and technology industry news, as well as my favorite bloggers. This more directly affects me.”

    I will pay attention to what is happening in my industry segment whether the news is good or bad. No problem. But I don’t need to inundate my mind with bad news over and over again about things which I have zero control.

    That is the distinction I am trying to make.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.mommycomelately.com Beth K. Vogt

    If I stop watching and listening to all the bad news, what will I miss? More bad news. Better question: What will I gain? That’s up to me, determined by what I replace the bad news with.
    More time in God’s word. Good music. Rest. Time with my family.
    Good idea, Mike. I think I’ll join you.

  • http://www.yourvirtualadvantage.com/ Kathy

    Our news sucks the life out of me. I feel like I need to stay informed, so I watch the BBC. It's less sensational…I just get the information.

  • http://davidjhinson.wordpress.com/ David J. Hinson

    I'm not sure "la-la-la I can't hear you" is the appropriate response here.

    Especially for the CEO of your stature, Michael.

    I think that's why the CEOs of Ford (well, they backed out last I heard), Chrysler, and GM are spending their days driving to a fro in their hybrids, hats in hand, to Congress. They chose not to listen to what was actually happening, and are paying the price.

    Yeah, news is often unpleasant.

    However, somebody HAS to wear the big boy / big girl underwear and "be the grown up."

    Especially the CEO.

  • http://twitter.com/LarryHuffman Larry Huffman

    I have been slowing weaning myself from the news feed since the election. I've curtailed reading the Washington Post and have gone to online only for the WSJ, and limit that.

  • Linda Rue

    Mike, Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I read your comment and rejoiced! I just can't take the bad news every minute of the day and I find that it undermines my peace and effects my writing. Regardless of what they report, God is in control. He is not surprised by any of this so I can rest in him! Thanks again!

  • http://www.WritingCareerCoach.com Tiffany Colter

    I have been doing this since about the 2nd week of November. I have friends who work for car dealerships who lament that they can’t sell cars because everyone is convinced they can’t get financed. Then there are people who live each day worried they’ll lose their jobs only because other people are.

    Jesus tells us to not worry, actually he commands it.

    When I saturate my mind on the news of current events more than the truth of God’s work I can become discouraged.

    Jesus told us if our hand causes us to sin, cut it off.

    Well, the barrage of news causes me to fall in the sin of worry-so I cut it off.

    I’m with Michael, I’m focusing on what I can do to improve things, rather then let the media dictate to me how bad they are.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @David Hinson: Evidently, you missed the part I where I said, “I will continue to keep up with publishing and technology industry news, as well as my favorite bloggers. This more directly affects me.”

    I will pay attention to what is happening in my industry segment whether the news is good or bad. No problem. But I don't need to inundate my mind with bad news over and over again about things which I have zero control.

    That is the distinction I am trying to make.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.mommycomelately.com/ Beth K. Vogt

    If I stop watching and listening to all the bad news, what will I miss? More bad news. Better question: What will I gain? That's up to me, determined by what I replace the bad news with.
    More time in God's word. Good music. Rest. Time with my family.
    Good idea, Mike. I think I'll join you.

  • http://www.kehinde.com/blog Ivy

    The non-economic summary isn’t that much better. Let’s see, riots in Greece persist for a third day, 9/11 plotters want to confess, Pakistan is taking action against the Mumbai terrorists, and the governor of Illinois was arrested on corruption charges.

    I can’t help but read the NY Times, but I’m limiting myself to checking the market at close and that’s it. The stress is taking too much energy I could put into productive work.

  • http://www.maeganroper.blogspot.com Maegan

    Amen, Amen, and Amen! Our circumstances should not dictate our happiness so why relish in them? Focus on the grace at hand that carries us through the moment.

  • http://www.kylechowning.com Kyle Chowning

    Not that you need one more comment saying the same thing, but your thoughts are provoking. Seems like our culture needs to redefine what news really is. Somethings that’s informative and helpful, but doesn’t dwell on stories that are tired. Sounds like an opportunity for someone to step up into.

    Kyle

  • http://www.sharoncullen.net Sharon Cullen

    Good for you! I did this long ago. I’m tired of the media creating the news. You’re right, if something happens, people will tell you and then you can turn the TV on. I don’t watch TV at all in the evening. Instead I read or spend time with the family. It’s been years since I’ve watched a sitcom and I don’t miss it.

    Turn the TV off and you’ll find a whole other world out there.

  • http://www.WritingCareerCoach.com/ Tiffany Colter

    I have been doing this since about the 2nd week of November. I have friends who work for car dealerships who lament that they can't sell cars because everyone is convinced they can't get financed. Then there are people who live each day worried they'll lose their jobs only because other people are.

    Jesus tells us to not worry, actually he commands it.

    When I saturate my mind on the news of current events more than the truth of God's work I can become discouraged.

    Jesus told us if our hand causes us to sin, cut it off.

    Well, the barrage of news causes me to fall in the sin of worry-so I cut it off.

    I'm with Michael, I'm focusing on what I can do to improve things, rather then let the media dictate to me how bad they are.

  • http://www.kehinde.com/blog Ivy

    The non-economic summary isn't that much better. Let's see, riots in Greece persist for a third day, 9/11 plotters want to confess, Pakistan is taking action against the Mumbai terrorists, and the governor of Illinois was arrested on corruption charges.

    I can't help but read the NY Times, but I'm limiting myself to checking the market at close and that's it. The stress is taking too much energy I could put into productive work.

  • http://michaeldmiller.wordpress.com mike miller

    Mike thanks for speaking out on this I agree. As long as the Media pounds the same drum it drives people into discouragement!
    Thanks for the post

  • http://www.maeganroper.blogspot.com/ Maegan

    Amen, Amen, and Amen! Our circumstances should not dictate our happiness so why relish in them? Focus on the grace at hand that carries us through the moment.

  • http://www.kylechowning.com/ Kyle Chowning

    Not that you need one more comment saying the same thing, but your thoughts are provoking. Seems like our culture needs to redefine what news really is. Somethings that's informative and helpful, but doesn't dwell on stories that are tired. Sounds like an opportunity for someone to step up into.

    Kyle

  • Andy

    Mike,
    Thanks for the blog – I read most of your entries. I sympathize with your situation. I generally find a lot of news outlets very frustrating. It sounds like you all ready use RSS. About a year ago I decided to design my own personal “newspaper” using RSS, and I have been pretty happy with it. I have sections for US news, international news, opinion, state and local news, etc. I select the sources that I think do the best job – as you probably know most sources have specialized RSS feeds. For instance I enjoy NY Times cultural and international coverage but avoid their political coverage. One other comment about US news – I’ve decided the Brits do the best job covering US politics and economics; they seem to be more detached. Economist.com and FT.com are my preferred sources for this. The BBC is ok but tends to be oversimplified and slightly sensationalistic. Also, for a gleaning of news from papers across TN, Stateline.org is excellent. You can also get Reuters and AP feeds. My frustration factor with getting the news now is VERY low.

  • http://www.sharoncullen.net/ Sharon Cullen

    Good for you! I did this long ago. I'm tired of the media creating the news. You're right, if something happens, people will tell you and then you can turn the TV on. I don't watch TV at all in the evening. Instead I read or spend time with the family. It's been years since I've watched a sitcom and I don't miss it.

    Turn the TV off and you'll find a whole other world out there.

  • http://www.navpress.com Eric Helus

    Mike,

    I agree with you on this. I stopped watching and connecting heavily to the news when the stories from the War in Iraq were continual reports of negativity, and there was very minimal coverage on what GOOD was going on overseas. I’ve easily kept up with current media through friends and family.

  • Erin Shank

    I completely agree! For the past couple of years, I’ve lived in a place here I couldn’t get TV reception even with bunny ears and I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was to sit down at night and not be bombarded with the news. And what I noticed was that I had more time to spend in the Word and in relationship with the people around me. I’m completely on board with your decision. Great job!

  • http://michaeldmiller.wordpress.com/ mike miller

    Mike thanks for speaking out on this I agree. As long as the Media pounds the same drum it drives people into discouragement!
    Thanks for the post

  • Angie Farnworth

    I went on a media fast several years ago that has never completely ended. My original fast was for more spiritual reasons (I think I did it during Lent or something), and it included no television at all. Since the fast ended, though, I rarely turned on the television. Now I might watch the news once or twice a month. I do sometimes research specific topics that will impact my life directly (such as voting), and I like to know about huge world issues that might need my prayer or action, but for the most part I don’t mind not being informed about every little thing that happens. And I strongly agree that the media is so hungry and greedy for something significant to say that they often exacerbate issues for the sake of filling up time.

  • Andy

    Mike,
    Thanks for the blog – I read most of your entries. I sympathize with your situation. I generally find a lot of news outlets very frustrating. It sounds like you all ready use RSS. About a year ago I decided to design my own personal “newspaper” using RSS, and I have been pretty happy with it. I have sections for US news, international news, opinion, state and local news, etc. I select the sources that I think do the best job – as you probably know most sources have specialized RSS feeds. For instance I enjoy NY Times cultural and international coverage but avoid their political coverage. One other comment about US news – I’ve decided the Brits do the best job covering US politics and economics; they seem to be more detached. Economist.com and FT.com are my preferred sources for this. The BBC is ok but tends to be oversimplified and slightly sensationalistic. Also, for a gleaning of news from papers across TN, Stateline.org is excellent. You can also get Reuters and AP feeds. My frustration factor with getting the news now is VERY low.

  • http://www.navpress.com/ Eric Helus

    Mike,

    I agree with you on this. I stopped watching and connecting heavily to the news when the stories from the War in Iraq were continual reports of negativity, and there was very minimal coverage on what GOOD was going on overseas. I've easily kept up with current media through friends and family.

  • Erin Shank

    I completely agree! For the past couple of years, I've lived in a place here I couldn't get TV reception even with bunny ears and I can't begin to tell you how happy I was to sit down at night and not be bombarded with the news. And what I noticed was that I had more time to spend in the Word and in relationship with the people around me. I'm completely on board with your decision. Great job!

  • Wanda Brewer

    HUGE difference between Living In Faith and Living In Fear. The news and talk shows were replaced with wholesome music nearly four years ago. You are so right, the news will find you if need be. Here’s another suggestion for renewing your spirit–give up gossip. Certain magazines, websites, TV shows and water cooler conversations come into play with this endeavor.

  • Angie Farnworth

    I went on a media fast several years ago that has never completely ended. My original fast was for more spiritual reasons (I think I did it during Lent or something), and it included no television at all. Since the fast ended, though, I rarely turned on the television. Now I might watch the news once or twice a month. I do sometimes research specific topics that will impact my life directly (such as voting), and I like to know about huge world issues that might need my prayer or action, but for the most part I don't mind not being informed about every little thing that happens. And I strongly agree that the media is so hungry and greedy for something significant to say that they often exacerbate issues for the sake of filling up time.

  • Wanda Brewer

    HUGE difference between Living In Faith and Living In Fear. The news and talk shows were replaced with wholesome music nearly four years ago. You are so right, the news will find you if need be. Here's another suggestion for renewing your spirit–give up gossip. Certain magazines, websites, TV shows and water cooler conversations come into play with this endeavor.

  • http://blog.publishedandprofitable.com Roger C. Parker

    Thank you, Michael, for your comments.

    People should concentrate on what they can control, rather than obsessing about what’s beyond their control.

    It’s the prospect standing in front of you, the book awaiting completion, or the client who is questioning the value they are receiving from their investment, that determines your future.

    What matters 30-60-90 days down the road depends on what you do today to acquire a client, better satisfy a client, or bring your ideas to life by blogging or writing articles about them.

    Roger

  • http://www.publishedauthors.net/robsargeant Rob Sargeant

    Mike,

    Years ago I got rid of cable TV, for myself and for the sake of the kids. I have had no regrets. If I want to check the news, I’ll do it online. If I want to watch TV, I’ll rent a DVD. This gives me more control over what is entering my home. The first news I read in the morning is the the good news found in the Bible.

  • http://blog.publishedandprofitable.com/ Roger C. Parker

    Thank you, Michael, for your comments.

    People should concentrate on what they can control, rather than obsessing about what's beyond their control.

    It's the prospect standing in front of you, the book awaiting completion, or the client who is questioning the value they are receiving from their investment, that determines your future.

    What matters 30-60-90 days down the road depends on what you do today to acquire a client, better satisfy a client, or bring your ideas to life by blogging or writing articles about them.

    Roger

  • http://www.publishedauthors.net/robsargeant Rob Sargeant

    Mike,

    Years ago I got rid of cable TV, for myself and for the sake of the kids. I have had no regrets. If I want to check the news, I'll do it online. If I want to watch TV, I'll rent a DVD. This gives me more control over what is entering my home. The first news I read in the morning is the the good news found in the Bible.

  • Pamela Mendoza

    Mike,

    I think that it is true that the media is very negative, they give us the stats of how many Americans are out of work but they never give stats of how many are employeed. It is alway a glass half empty with them. We have made a choice in our home not to watch the national news, we leave our radio at home on the Christian radio station so when we come home from work that has been playing all day. Sounds funny I know but it is very peaceful in our house.

  • http://levellies.blogspot.com Jeanette Levellie

    OH, YES!!! Someone finally ‘got it’. It’s about time we realized the news media are about one thing only: making money. They don’t care whether it’s true or not, they like to sensationalize, just to get ratings. I am so pleased to read this, and hope it will encourage others to do the same. I have not watched commercial t.v. for about 25 years now, and I believe I am a smarter, more loving person because of it. And you are right, if something happens you really need to know about, you will hear it from someone. This is a God thing, Mike. You will not regret it. Applause for you! Jeanette Levellie

  • Pamela Mendoza

    Mike,

    I think that it is true that the media is very negative, they give us the stats of how many Americans are out of work but they never give stats of how many are employeed. It is alway a glass half empty with them. We have made a choice in our home not to watch the national news, we leave our radio at home on the Christian radio station so when we come home from work that has been playing all day. Sounds funny I know but it is very peaceful in our house.

  • http://levellies.blogspot.com/ Jeanette Levellie

    OH, YES!!! Someone finally 'got it'. It's about time we realized the news media are about one thing only: making money. They don't care whether it's true or not, they like to sensationalize, just to get ratings. I am so pleased to read this, and hope it will encourage others to do the same. I have not watched commercial t.v. for about 25 years now, and I believe I am a smarter, more loving person because of it. And you are right, if something happens you really need to know about, you will hear it from someone. This is a God thing, Mike. You will not regret it. Applause for you! Jeanette Levellie

  • http://www.goworden.com Dennis Worden

    I’m there, including Fox. A little Don Imus in the morning and I’m good to go, a little sports, a little news, a little humor and oh yes the latest traffic update. To many good things happening… to many opportunities to build and grow a business. I do need to get control of my visits to the Drudge Report. Let the joy of the Lord be our strength!!!

  • http://helptheeconomy.info WordVixen

    I’ve always hated to watch the news. On a slow news day- they rehash old bad news instead of finding something positive to talk about. On a busy news day- well, most of it I don’t want to or need to know.

    Every time the media claimed GM was about to go into bankruptcy, GM’s stock dropped. And then they claimed that they were right about it rather than taking responsibility for much of the cause.

    When 9/11 happened- I received a phone call to turn on the news. Few things are so important that I need to know every detail about, and the ones that are? Find me.

    I’m just grateful that news must be slow enough that the news at noon is now 1/2 hour instead of an hour- so I’m only forced to watch 15 minutes of it now (hubs insists).

    After being convicted while reading Through The Storm, I gave up celebrity blogs, and I now more or less avoid any news site unless I have to look something up from one of them. I started a blog with a positive slant on helping the economy (listing items that are made in the USA, suggestions while shopping, etc). It’s amazing how much is still made here! Most disposable paper products for example- paper towels, toilet paper, feminine products, foaming hand soap. Most of our books are still printed here, right?

    Digressing, I know. But I mostly listen to commercial free internet radio (currently? Classic radio Christmas specials from the 40′s and 50′s), read blogs that aren’t political, Christian novels and classics, and watch movies (again, no commercials and I can choose what’s coming into my mind).

  • Jake

    I went years without a T.V. while my kids were growing up and learning to be useful, creative and READ. Now, I do the headlines from my start page and the “magazines” (20-20, and 60 Minutes of propaganda), I think we all agree that the doom and gloom serves someone, but not our best interests. People accept tyranny if they are convinced it is necessary because of some supposed and widely “advertised” crisis. Somehow, I believe the media will suddenly get all optimistic come January 22. At that point we may all hunger for honest news, even if it is a little negative. In the mean time a “chosen electronic fast” would probably do me good. I’d dispense with the computer as well, except I would get so far behind on my Email I’d never catch up, and someone might be waiting for my help. Now, to change the subject — with some of the posts I get, I can use the arrows on my laptop to scroll down or up. On your post, Mike, my arrors don’t scroll, so I use my finger and it makes the lines jump around too far both directions. I have a nearly new HP XP, one of the last ones made. So is it my computer or your post? Is there anyway you can make my arrows work?

  • http://www.goworden.com/ Dennis Worden

    I'm there, including Fox. A little Don Imus in the morning and I'm good to go, a little sports, a little news, a little humor and oh yes the latest traffic update. To many good things happening… to many opportunities to build and grow a business. I do need to get control of my visits to the Drudge Report. Let the joy of the Lord be our strength!!!

  • http://helptheeconomy.info/ WordVixen

    I've always hated to watch the news. On a slow news day- they rehash old bad news instead of finding something positive to talk about. On a busy news day- well, most of it I don't want to or need to know.

    Every time the media claimed GM was about to go into bankruptcy, GM's stock dropped. And then they claimed that they were right about it rather than taking responsibility for much of the cause.

    When 9/11 happened- I received a phone call to turn on the news. Few things are so important that I need to know every detail about, and the ones that are? Find me.

    I'm just grateful that news must be slow enough that the news at noon is now 1/2 hour instead of an hour- so I'm only forced to watch 15 minutes of it now (hubs insists).

    After being convicted while reading Through The Storm, I gave up celebrity blogs, and I now more or less avoid any news site unless I have to look something up from one of them. I started a blog with a positive slant on helping the economy (listing items that are made in the USA, suggestions while shopping, etc). It's amazing how much is still made here! Most disposable paper products for example- paper towels, toilet paper, feminine products, foaming hand soap. Most of our books are still printed here, right?

    Digressing, I know. But I mostly listen to commercial free internet radio (currently? Classic radio Christmas specials from the 40's and 50's), read blogs that aren't political, Christian novels and classics, and watch movies (again, no commercials and I can choose what's coming into my mind).

  • Jake

    I went years without a T.V. while my kids were growing up and learning to be useful, creative and READ. Now, I do the headlines from my start page and the "magazines" (20-20, and 60 Minutes of propaganda), I think we all agree that the doom and gloom serves someone, but not our best interests. People accept tyranny if they are convinced it is necessary because of some supposed and widely "advertised" crisis. Somehow, I believe the media will suddenly get all optimistic come January 22. At that point we may all hunger for honest news, even if it is a little negative. In the mean time a "chosen electronic fast" would probably do me good. I'd dispense with the computer as well, except I would get so far behind on my Email I'd never catch up, and someone might be waiting for my help. Now, to change the subject — with some of the posts I get, I can use the arrows on my laptop to scroll down or up. On your post, Mike, my arrors don't scroll, so I use my finger and it makes the lines jump around too far both directions. I have a nearly new HP XP, one of the last ones made. So is it my computer or your post? Is there anyway you can make my arrows work?

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Jake: I am sorry, I don’t know what is causing that problem. I have not had anyone else report it.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Jake: I am sorry, I don't know what is causing that problem. I have not had anyone else report it.

  • http://www.abbyblogs.com Abby

    Hi Mike,

    Yes, I’m as fired up as you are. The headlines truly are depressing and it’s become too much for me too.

  • http://www.abbyblogs.com/ Abby

    Hi Mike,

    Yes, I'm as fired up as you are. The headlines truly are depressing and it's become too much for me too.

  • http://katrinacummins.blogspot.com Katrina J Cummins

    Thank you Mike.

    I agree.
    Note to self, time to pick up a good book.
    Thank you for being a voice in regards to how some of us are feeling.

  • http://katrinacummins.blogspot.com/ Katrina J Cummins

    Thank you Mike.

    I agree.
    Note to self, time to pick up a good book.
    Thank you for being a voice in regards to how some of us are feeling.

  • David Huffman

    Mike I think this is a great plan. I had to do this about one month prior to the election, also. It was often overwhelming and I found myself worried about things far beyond my sphere of influence and control. It is happening again and you are right to take a break. Truthfully I think we could likely read the news once or twice per week and that would cover it. Amazing how much re-stating and re-cycling there is on ALL of the outlets.

  • David Huffman

    Mike I think this is a great plan. I had to do this about one month prior to the election, also. It was often overwhelming and I found myself worried about things far beyond my sphere of influence and control. It is happening again and you are right to take a break. Truthfully I think we could likely read the news once or twice per week and that would cover it. Amazing how much re-stating and re-cycling there is on ALL of the outlets.

  • http://www.danieldecker.net daniel d

    I respectfully have to disagree with one line that you said.

    “The truth is that I can’t fix the global economy.”

    I think you, ME and WE (ME upside down is WE) as individuals CAN fix the global economy or at least contribute to the opportunity for it to get fixed rather than get worse.

    The cool thing, as you know, is that you are already doing it by taking this stand. :)

    I agree that by not buying into the constant media “Chicken Little” mentality and their constant negative headlines that we can focus on the good and the opportunities for growth. That doesn’t mean we ignore the realities and challenges we face but it means we remain optimistic and positive about what we can still achieve.

    In reality we, speaking on behalf of most Americans anyway, are TOO BLESSED to be Stressed. Despite even the real economic downturns, we have it way better than most others in the world. To me it’s all a matter of perspective and when we remove the media’s negative influence we can keep that perspective in balance.

  • http://greggstutts.blogspot.com Gregg Stutts

    Mike,
    I’m 100% with you. Since I’ve stopped consuming the news, I feel less anxious, worried and fearful. I find it’s a constant battle to believe God, not my circumstances. That’s why my blog is called, “I Believe God.”

    If it hasn’t happened already, be prepared to feel better!

  • http://lynnrush.wordpress.com/ Lynn Rush

    I’m just stumbling upon this post now…but I’m going to try it as well, starting today.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Daniel: Good point!

  • http://blogan.net/ Brent Logan

    I’m just amazed you waited until after the election to realize that the media are worthless… ;-)

  • http://blogan.net Brent Logan

    I’m just amazed you waited until after the election to realize that the media are worthless… ;-)

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Brent: I guess I am a slow learner.

  • http://www.danieldecker.net/ daniel d

    I respectfully have to disagree with one line that you said.

    “The truth is that I can’t fix the global economy.”

    I think you, ME and WE (ME upside down is WE) as individuals CAN fix the global economy or at least contribute to the opportunity for it to get fixed rather than get worse.

    The cool thing, as you know, is that you are already doing it by taking this stand. :)

    I agree that by not buying into the constant media “Chicken Little” mentality and their constant negative headlines that we can focus on the good and the opportunities for growth. That doesn’t mean we ignore the realities and challenges we face but it means we remain optimistic and positive about what we can still achieve.

    In reality we, speaking on behalf of most Americans anyway, are TOO BLESSED to be Stressed. Despite even the real economic downturns, we have it way better than most others in the world. To me it's all a matter of perspective and when we remove the media's negative influence we can keep that perspective in balance.

  • http://greggstutts.blogspot.com/ Gregg Stutts

    Mike,
    I'm 100% with you. Since I've stopped consuming the news, I feel less anxious, worried and fearful. I find it's a constant battle to believe God, not my circumstances. That's why my blog is called, "I Believe God."

    If it hasn't happened already, be prepared to feel better!

  • http://lynnrush.wordpress.com/ Lynn Rush

    I'm just stumbling upon this post now…but I'm going to try it as well, starting today.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Daniel: Good point!

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Brent: I guess I am a slow learner.

  • http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ Ellen Weber

    Wow – Great post and discussion, and who can blame people from focusing on what work rather than dwelling on the doom.

    In addition to all the cool ideas that help our sanity, I have an additional challenge – that calls on talented responses with the brain in mind:-) http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/media/when-media-messes-with-minds/

    Hopefully a new zip will take hold in our nation:-). Think it could change media directions to come with us if it happens?

  • http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ Ellen Weber

    Wow – Great post and discussion, and who can blame people from focusing on what work rather than dwelling on the doom.

    In addition to all the cool ideas that help our sanity, I have an additional challenge – that calls on talented responses with the brain in mind:-) http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/media/when

    Hopefully a new zip will take hold in our nation:-). Think it could change media directions to come with us if it happens?

  • http://www.pandltranslations.com Janine Libbey

    Here’s something that might cheer you up: This is an interesting post on how translations can play a role in easing the publishing industry’s woes.

    http://tinyurl.com/6dtzdx

  • http://www.pandltranslations.com/ Janine Libbey

    Here's something that might cheer you up: This is an interesting post on how translations can play a role in easing the publishing industry's woes.
    http://tinyurl.com/6dtzdx

  • Jake

    The arrows are working today — first time ever on your web site — “splain” that one! Whatever the reason, I’m happy about it. Thanks for answering anyhow.

  • Jake

    The arrows are working today — first time ever on your web site — "splain" that one! Whatever the reason, I'm happy about it. Thanks for answering anyhow.

  • http://www.soap-queen.blogspot.com Anne-Marie

    I haven’t had a tv in my household for over 16 years and feel like my relationships with my family are better for it – and now, my mood.

    I do still check the news by getting “The Week” and “The Economist.” In my experience, they tend to be more rational articles rather than breathless “fill my content quick!” proclamations of “Worst ever! There will be no sky tomorrow!” of TV and the five billion channels trying to find something to say for 24 hours with zero cost for production value.

    Plus, with the average family watching more than 4 hours of TV a night, there are way better things to do with free time.

    Happier, more productive outlook through a TV-Free household? I’m already signed up!

  • http://www.soap-queen.blogspot.com/ Anne-Marie

    I haven't had a tv in my household for over 16 years and feel like my relationships with my family are better for it – and now, my mood.

    I do still check the news by getting "The Week" and "The Economist." In my experience, they tend to be more rational articles rather than breathless "fill my content quick!" proclamations of "Worst ever! There will be no sky tomorrow!" of TV and the five billion channels trying to find something to say for 24 hours with zero cost for production value.

    Plus, with the average family watching more than 4 hours of TV a night, there are way better things to do with free time.

    Happier, more productive outlook through a TV-Free household? I'm already signed up!

  • http://www.chrisbanescu.com Chris Banescu

    I have been going on the same routine now for months. I completely understand where you’re coming from and the effect the drudgezitation of our culture can have on one’s mood. Great tips on turning off the madness. Reducing my Drudge dose and playing more music throughout the day were already implemented in my daily routine, but I think it’s time to take a full vacation from it. Thanks for reminding us that we’re not alone.

  • http://www.chrisbanescu.com/ Chris Banescu

    I have been going on the same routine now for months. I completely understand where you're coming from and the effect the drudgezitation of our culture can have on one's mood. Great tips on turning off the madness. Reducing my Drudge dose and playing more music throughout the day were already implemented in my daily routine, but I think it's time to take a full vacation from it. Thanks for reminding us that we're not alone.

  • http://www.sukhjit.me sukhjit

    I’m behind you on this effort 100%. I’ve reduced my mainstream media intake considerably and don’t miss it one bit. I don’t want to be fed salacious headlines and the same recycled information. Plus, I really believe with the world so turbulent, it’s important to keep your confidence up, believe in the future while still staying aware of what’s happening in the world.

    Thanks for this post. Very interesting discussion.

  • http://www.sukhjit.me/ sukhjit

    I'm behind you on this effort 100%. I've reduced my mainstream media intake considerably and don't miss it one bit. I don't want to be fed salacious headlines and the same recycled information. Plus, I really believe with the world so turbulent, it's important to keep your confidence up, believe in the future while still staying aware of what's happening in the world.

    Thanks for this post. Very interesting discussion.

  • Mary

    I haven’t read the other comments (I’ll read them as soon as I post this) but I’ve often wondered if the main stream media didn’t help create these economic problems by the constant slamming of all things under the Bush administration. This is one of those times I hate being a busy working parent/grandparent … I think there are some real data that could be dug up but I just don’t have the time to do the research. And that research would probably be worthy of someone’s thesis for their master’s degree!

  • Mary

    I haven't read the other comments (I'll read them as soon as I post this) but I've often wondered if the main stream media didn't help create these economic problems by the constant slamming of all things under the Bush administration. This is one of those times I hate being a busy working parent/grandparent … I think there are some real data that could be dug up but I just don't have the time to do the research. And that research would probably be worthy of someone's thesis for their master's degree!

  • Sandy

    I cut back years ago. I wake to the local radio station because it has weather and school closures, but try to ignore anything not local. The evenings we flick to the news, our tempers are shot and the family quality goes way down. As others have said, if it’s really important, we’ll hear about it.

  • Sandy

    I cut back years ago. I wake to the local radio station because it has weather and school closures, but try to ignore anything not local. The evenings we flick to the news, our tempers are shot and the family quality goes way down. As others have said, if it's really important, we'll hear about it.

  • Leslie

    I started this fast some time ago as well, though not related to stories about the economy. Usually glued to the Today show in the mornings while getting ready, I became acutely aware what was broadcasting into my home when my little ones entered the room just in time to hear the anchor say, “When we come back, more on the story of the woman who cut off her child’s arms.” Really. As if I need to know more, much less anything about that atrocity at all. It was too much and I turned off and tuned out. I’ll read WSJ online and keep up with what I need to. But it’s a distraction, discouragement. Like Gail, I choose to focus on what is good.

    During Lent one year, I sacrificed my end of the night channel flipping, in favor of reading, praying and turning in a bit earlier. Much better for me.

    My head’s not in the sand. It’s just not in the middle of the grime.

  • Leslie

    I started this fast some time ago as well, though not related to stories about the economy. Usually glued to the Today show in the mornings while getting ready, I became acutely aware what was broadcasting into my home when my little ones entered the room just in time to hear the anchor say, "When we come back, more on the story of the woman who cut off her child's arms." Really. As if I need to know more, much less anything about that atrocity at all. It was too much and I turned off and tuned out. I'll read WSJ online and keep up with what I need to. But it's a distraction, discouragement. Like Gail, I choose to focus on what is good.

    During Lent one year, I sacrificed my end of the night channel flipping, in favor of reading, praying and turning in a bit earlier. Much better for me.

    My head's not in the sand. It's just not in the middle of the grime.

  • Melody

    I think you are so right! I have a friend that is constantly telling me how BAD the economy is, and that someone had just said (Obama?) we are heading into another Great Depression. We are sort of your “stick your head in the sand” kind of people, only because I can’t stand the constant negativity and gloom the daily news brings. I don’t look at the world with rose-colored glasses either, but I think a massive sense of balance is required here, and it’s way too easy to get frightened into a panic over all this.

  • Melody

    I think you are so right! I have a friend that is constantly telling me how BAD the economy is, and that someone had just said (Obama?) we are heading into another Great Depression. We are sort of your "stick your head in the sand" kind of people, only because I can't stand the constant negativity and gloom the daily news brings. I don't look at the world with rose-colored glasses either, but I think a massive sense of balance is required here, and it's way too easy to get frightened into a panic over all this.

  • http://justkd.blogspot.com Katie

    I could not agree more!

  • http://justkd.blogspot.com/ Katie

    I could not agree more!

  • Tonia

    I completely agree that the media is not helping the situation nor us individually. Our family has gone much further in removing ourselves from the media. For the past 9 years we have not watched any television (except 1 day: 911), only VHS tapes and DVD’s. We save money by not paying for cable. We eat less junk food, waste much less time, and the kids don’t “have to have” everything they don’t see advertised. We never have to be home at a certain time to catch a certain show. I’ve personally gone even further in that I listen almost totally to a listener supported commercial free radio station. We read books and participate in activities like boy scouts and girl scouts. I’ve never been sorry we gave up television. The kids have been fine with it (they are ages 12, 15, 17 and 22 now).

  • Tonia

    I completely agree that the media is not helping the situation nor us individually. Our family has gone much further in removing ourselves from the media. For the past 9 years we have not watched any television (except 1 day: 911), only VHS tapes and DVD's. We save money by not paying for cable. We eat less junk food, waste much less time, and the kids don't "have to have" everything they don't see advertised. We never have to be home at a certain time to catch a certain show. I've personally gone even further in that I listen almost totally to a listener supported commercial free radio station. We read books and participate in activities like boy scouts and girl scouts. I've never been sorry we gave up television. The kids have been fine with it (they are ages 12, 15, 17 and 22 now).

  • http://www.happythoughtsnews.com Jonathan

    Michael,

    Beautiful post – exactly my thoughts! I currently live in India, and some of my friends had gotten inundated by bad news. I ended up starting a ‘Good News’ website.

    http://www.happythoughtsnews.com

    Have a great day!

  • http://www.happythoughtsnews.com/ Jonathan

    Michael,

    Beautiful post – exactly my thoughts! I currently live in India, and some of my friends had gotten inundated by bad news. I ended up starting a 'Good News' website.
    http://www.happythoughtsnews.com

    Have a great day!

  • http://www.ComicsPundit.com Shawn Levasseur

    I’ve cut back on general news reading/viewing. Mostly due to the fact that I much of what I see isn’t of interest or importance to me.

    I rely on the commentary blogs and podcast to steer me back to the news be it general news, political, entertainment, or news about my hobbies.

    The only traditional news media that I’d get on a regular basis is a local newspaper. And by local I mean it’s focused mostly on the Knox County, Maine area. No national news at all.

  • http://www.ComicsPundit.com/ Shawn Levasseur

    I've cut back on general news reading/viewing. Mostly due to the fact that I much of what I see isn't of interest or importance to me.

    I rely on the commentary blogs and podcast to steer me back to the news be it general news, political, entertainment, or news about my hobbies.

    The only traditional news media that I'd get on a regular basis is a local newspaper. And by local I mean it's focused mostly on the Knox County, Maine area. No national news at all.

  • http://www.enduringwanderlust.com Gennaro

    I’m a news junkie, but it’s definately important to shut it off for a day or three every so often. Especially with the Internet and 24-hour cable news programming.

    It’s nice to find another niche to move toward every so often.

  • http://www.enduringwanderlust.com/ Gennaro

    I'm a news junkie, but it's definately important to shut it off for a day or three every so often. Especially with the Internet and 24-hour cable news programming.

    It's nice to find another niche to move toward every so often.

  • http://rickmorganconsulting.com/blog Rick Morgan

    I am with you! Perhaps we can create a “groundswell”.

  • http://rickmorganconsulting.com/blog Rick Morgan

    I am with you! Perhaps we can create a "groundswell".

  • Brian

    I gave up morning news several years ago for a month or so and my mood improved greatly. Like most addicts though I jumped back on. I’m going to do it again and expand it to all “news” type outlets. This is getting ridiculous. The focus on the negative isn’t helping things. I’m also going to write to the majors that I have been tuned in to and tell them that I’m tuning out and why. Just stopping isn’t going to change anything unless the media knows why.

    Great post and I’m tuning out!

  • Brian

    I gave up morning news several years ago for a month or so and my mood improved greatly. Like most addicts though I jumped back on. I'm going to do it again and expand it to all "news" type outlets. This is getting ridiculous. The focus on the negative isn't helping things. I'm also going to write to the majors that I have been tuned in to and tell them that I'm tuning out and why. Just stopping isn't going to change anything unless the media knows why.

    Great post and I'm tuning out!

  • Margo Carmichael

    Well, hmm. We could cut back, yes, for sure, maybe to once a day, and still stay informed. We know that "All that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Like that darling Katie told Arlen Specter, "You've awakened a sleeping giant." Let's not go back to sleep. The other side is wide awake.
    http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/8925/alinsky….

  • Margo Carmichael

    Well, hmm. We could cut back, yes, for sure, maybe to once a day, and still stay informed. We know that "All that's necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Like that darling Katie told Arlen Specter, "You've awakened a sleeping giant." Let's not go back to sleep. The other side is wide awake.
    http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/8925/alinsky….

  • Helen Kidd

    GOOD FOR YOU! When I worked for an outplacement organization, we encouraged our clients not to read the headlines. Otherwise they would eventually start believing that you couldn't find a job in a bad economy and nothing is further from the truth. As for me personally, I don't even have a television anymore. Breaking news events are sent to my cell and a summary of the day's news is sent to my email. If I want more, I can get on the network stream. I'm staying in touch with the world around me, I'm working, and I also have a life. And, oh yes, I also have something called a radio.

  • Helen Kidd

    GOOD FOR YOU! When I worked for an outplacement organization, we encouraged our clients not to read the headlines. Otherwise they would eventually start believing that you couldn't find a job in a bad economy and nothing is further from the truth. As for me personally, I don't even have a television anymore. Breaking news events are sent to my cell and a summary of the day's news is sent to my email. If I want more, I can get on the network stream. I'm staying in touch with the world around me, I'm working, and I also have a life. And, oh yes, I also have something called a radio.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    This is one time when I don't agree with you, Michael. I believe it's important to keep up with what is going on in the world for several reasons. First and foremost, knowing what is going on helps focus my prayers. Of course, I usually don't have enough information to form valid opinions, but I can pray that God will work things out for people involved in many different situations. Second, knowing what is going on widens my base of knowledge and helps me relate to many different people. And, finally, I just plain like to read and think things through.

    That said, one thing I do not do is to get emotionally involved in the news. Everything is cyclic in the world and nothing is absolutely fair. I've noticed that no matter what option leaders chose, someone will suffer. So, I don't look for answers from my fellow human beings, and I really don't trust what anyone says. Instead I look to God for His absolute love which will win out in the end.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    This is one time when I don't agree with you, Michael. I believe it's important to keep up with what is going on in the world for several reasons. First and foremost, knowing what is going on helps focus my prayers. Of course, I usually don't have enough information to form valid opinions, but I can pray that God will work things out for people involved in many different situations. Second, knowing what is going on widens my base of knowledge and helps me relate to many different people. And, finally, I just plain like to read and think things through.

    That said, one thing I do not do is to get emotionally involved in the news. Everything is cyclic in the world and nothing is absolutely fair. I've noticed that no matter what option leaders chose, someone will suffer. So, I don't look for answers from my fellow human beings, and I really don't trust what anyone says. Instead I look to God for His absolute love which will win out in the end.

  • Bob LaForce

    This is my attitude, too. I only watch the news when I have nothing else better to do – which is mostly, never.

  • Bob LaForce

    This is my attitude, too. I only watch the news when I have nothing else better to do – which is mostly, never.

  • http://cordsofhislove.blogspot.com/ Chew Keng Sheng

    Yes, I agree that the media is just feeding too much bad news. But I don't quite agree of the steps to disconnecting yourself from all news feeds. Perhaps there is a balance between being prudence and being paranoid.

  • http://cordsofhislove.blogspot.com/ Chew Keng Sheng

    Yes, I agree that the media is just feeding too much bad news. But I don't quite agree of the steps to disconnecting yourself from all news feeds. Perhaps there is a balance between being prudence and being paranoid.

  • Gary

    I agree with the idea that the media exacerbates the confidence issue. However, if you didn't already understand the need to carefully filter what you read, watch, and hear through all media sources, you likely are clinically depressed. There are very few people who are not "talking their book" when they speak publicly.

    As someone who comes from a long, double line of worriers, if you are not obsessing over the news, you'll find something else. Even in the "bad news sells" environment in which we live, there is usually a glass half-full view if you prefer to look at that perspective. Don't turn off the news; just turn off the "worry cells".

  • Gary

    I agree with the idea that the media exacerbates the confidence issue. However, if you didn't already understand the need to carefully filter what you read, watch, and hear through all media sources, you likely are clinically depressed. There are very few people who are not "talking their book" when they speak publicly.

    As someone who comes from a long, double line of worriers, if you are not obsessing over the news, you'll find something else. Even in the "bad news sells" environment in which we live, there is usually a glass half-full view if you prefer to look at that perspective. Don't turn off the news; just turn off the "worry cells".

  • Wayne

    Maybe this is unrelated however; I lost confidence in the media when I was working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. We were evacuated due to an unidentified plane that was heading for restricted air space and it was thought to be heading for the Capitol building. After running for my life and things calmed down my coworker and I were at Union Station. We were waiting to get the all clear so we could return to work. At a table beside us a family was eating. A person walked up to the family's table and introduced their self as being a media person (I don't remember which outlet). They asked if anyone saw the plane that caused the evacuation. An 8 year old boy spoke up and said he saw the plane. The media person grew very excited and said "You did! What did it look like??" The boys father shook his head and with exasperation in his voice informed the media person the boy didn't see the plane, they were in Union Station at the time. I could just see the quote "An unidentified source (because he is 8 years old) described the plane as…" I admit I read CNN online but not everyday. That way I can pick what I want to read.

  • Wayne

    Maybe this is unrelated however; I lost confidence in the media when I was working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. We were evacuated due to an unidentified plane that was heading for restricted air space and it was thought to be heading for the Capitol building. After running for my life and things calmed down my coworker and I were at Union Station. We were waiting to get the all clear so we could return to work. At a table beside us a family was eating. A person walked up to the family's table and introduced their self as being a media person (I don't remember which outlet). They asked if anyone saw the plane that caused the evacuation. An 8 year old boy spoke up and said he saw the plane. The media person grew very excited and said "You did! What did it look like??" The boys father shook his head and with exasperation in his voice informed the media person the boy didn't see the plane, they were in Union Station at the time. I could just see the quote "An unidentified source (because he is 8 years old) described the plane as…" I admit I read CNN online but not everyday. That way I can pick what I want to read.

  • http://twitter.com/BRGMcKenzie Brian

    Neil Postman essentially said the only news we should concern ourselves with is news that we can do something about. Stay the course, Mike. I’ve enjoyed this for the better part of 2 years.

  • http://twitter.com/BRGMcKenzie Brian

    Neil Postman essentially said the only news we should concern ourselves with is news that we can do something about. Stay the course, Mike. I've enjoyed this for the better part of 2 years.

  • http://www.wrencottage.net/ Peggy Shaw

    I think it's more complicated than that. I learned about the 9-11 crashes on the Today Show and was able to get into gear for my reporter's job and also call my mother near Washington to warn her to at leat go the basement for awhile. If you have a 401K, you should keep up with the stock market changes. And, yes, the economy is going to be what it is no matter what you do, but is sticking your head in the sand the answer? There might be a way you can help, and that way may become clear to you while you're watching or reading the news. I would go for a more middle-of-the-road approach.

  • UK follower

    II've never been a fan of 24hr reporting. Personally I believe it was better when information was gathered & THEN the news was reported on, rather than now, when we have endless amounts of speculation & hours & hours of 'non-news'. It used to be that if something major happened, the programmes would be interrupted for a 'news flash', usually saying there would be an extended news bulletin at a later time to cover the issue.

    Now, you get 'breaking news', which usually tells you very little, & repeats the same information again and again. As a result, I rarely watch the national & international news on TV anymore, but I usually look up this information on line once or twice a day. That way I get to see all the major headlines, and can choose what I want/need to know more about. I DO watch local news programmes – in my area they are 1/2 hour slots so have to be succinct.

  • http://www.leadingisredaing.blogspot.com/ james

    I have quit watching the news and reading papers years ago. I seldom, if ever, even pay attention to weather forecasts anymore. If something is important enough, someone will tell me.

  • Late to things

    I've come late to this, but I'm amazed how many folk are saying this is a suggestion to 'bury your head in the sand'. What rubbish! It's not saying listen to nothing, it's saying stop listening to loop repeats of negative reporting. Do you really need to listen to the news for four or five hours plus per day? NO. Except in EXCEPTIONAL circumstances.

  • Late to things

    I've come late to this, but I'm amazed how many folk are saying this is a suggestion to 'bury your head in the sand'. What rubbish! It's not saying listen to nothing, it's saying stop listening to loop repeats of negative reporting. Do you really need to listen to the news for four or five hours plus per day? NO. Except in EXCEPTIONAL circumstances.

  • http://www.leadingisredaing.blogspot.com james

    I have quit watching the news and reading papers years ago. I seldom, if ever, even pay attention to weather forecasts anymore. If something is important enough, someone will tell me.

  • http://www.asgoodadayasany.wordpress.com/ MARILYN YOCUM

    I listen to NPR headlines (top of any hour) and have NPR and NYT titles coming thorugh on Twitter. If there's a topic of interest, I can click to the link. Otherwise, I pass.

    No more news junkie for me!

    Having to be on top of every single story comes more from a false sense the knowing everything means I have some control OR a fear of not being smarter than everyone else. What if someone asks "Did you hear about….?" and I have to admit I didn't? Good heavens!

    I'm not sure all that knowing in helping me minister to my world better.
    I think I ought to be aware of what's happening without steeping in the awful, horrible news of it. God will enlighten me and lay on my heart those news stories that are MINE to personally address.

    And now, the knowing I do have…..helps me pray…..and I have more time for it.

    My recent post Unmasked

  • http://www.asgoodadayasany.wordpress.com MARILYN YOCUM

    I listen to NPR headlines (top of any hour) and have NPR and NYT titles coming thorugh on Twitter. If there's a topic of interest, I can click to the link. Otherwise, I pass.

    No more news junkie for me!

    Having to be on top of every single story comes more from a false sense the knowing everything means I have some control OR a fear of not being smarter than everyone else. What if someone asks "Did you hear about….?" and I have to admit I didn't? Good heavens!

    I'm not sure all that knowing in helping me minister to my world better.
    I think I ought to be aware of what's happening without steeping in the awful, horrible news of it. God will enlighten me and lay on my heart those news stories that are MINE to personally address.

    And now, the knowing I do have…..helps me pray…..and I have more time for it.

    My recent post Unmasked

  • http://www.wrencottage.net/ Peggy Shaw

    I think it's more complicated than that. I learned about the 9-11 crashes on the Today Show and was able to get into gear for my reporter's job and also call my mother near Washington to warn her to at leat go the basement for awhile. If you have a 401K, you should keep up with the stock market changes. And, yes, the economy is going to be what it is no matter what you do, but is sticking your head in the sand the answer? There might be a way you can help, and that way may become clear to you while you're watching or reading the news. I would go for a more middle-of-the-road approach.

  • UK follower

    II've never been a fan of 24hr reporting. Personally I believe it was better when information was gathered & THEN the news was reported on, rather than now, when we have endless amounts of speculation & hours & hours of 'non-news'. It used to be that if something major happened, the programmes would be interrupted for a 'news flash', usually saying there would be an extended news bulletin at a later time to cover the issue.

    Now, you get 'breaking news', which usually tells you very little, & repeats the same information again and again. As a result, I rarely watch the national & international news on TV anymore, but I usually look up this information on line once or twice a day. That way I get to see all the major headlines, and can choose what I want/need to know more about. I DO watch local news programmes – in my area they are 1/2 hour slots so have to be succinct.

  • http://www.dannyjbixby.com Danny Bixby

    Are you still keeping up with this?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/damonparnell dkp

    Agreed

  • randysrules

    Talking heads "news" and "opinion" are the (relatively) new version of Roman battles in the arena. Give the people an exciting "reality" show to distract them from what is really going on and remove their ability or energy to affect positive change. Good call!

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/jerryfultz jerryfultz

    Pulled the plug on cable a year ago. Stopped reading newspapers over 10 years ago. Haven't intentionally watched any version of network news (Today, Tonight, Tomorrow, Yesterday, whatever) in almost that long. You can do it. And it WILL produce the results you're looking for. I'm as current as anyone. Sans the fear, hype & desperation. You, too, can have a life.

  • http://www.BrighterWalk.com Karyn Brownlee

    I've been cutting back but I cannot quit altogether, as the news drives many of my columns. It's great material from which to write. My challenge lies in remembering to turn the bad news into the "good news". Bless you for your efforts to keep the main thing the main thing, and encouraging others to do the same.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/wizardprang Wizard Prang

    Let's not forget, folks, that the "recession" was bought to you by CNN… a year before it happened.

  • Kelley

    I'm sorry, but this is ignorant. If you don't want to watch the news, that's fine. It's a personal decision. However, to make statements like:

    "But, in my opinion, the news media are exacerbating this problem with their reporting. They are systematically undermining consumer confidence. This is a case where reporting the news is actually causing the news"

    is just irresponsible communication (I would say irresponsible journalism, but this is certainly not journalism.)

    The problem is, you are making claims about reality now. If you feel that the news is too negative, or has an adverse affect on your mood, go ahead and say so and say it as loudly as you please; those are opinions and personal experiences. However, it is not your privilege to make uncorroborated statements about quantifiable entities with impunity.

    Enjoy your news media fast, but maybe with all that extra time, do us the favor of reading up on accurate reporting. This may be a blog, and may be primarily concerned with your opinions, but when you make statements about reality they still need to be corroborated and supported. Just because something sounds good, doesn't mean it's right.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      As you rightly pointed out, this is a blog, and is therefore clearly my opinion. However, just to make the point doubly clear, I said (in the excerpt you quoted) “ … in my opinion.”

      You may disagree with my opinion, but there is nothing inappropriate about expressing my opinion on my blog.

      • Kelley

        Yes, it is very clearly your right to say anything you wish, whether opinion or otherwise. The problem is, however, that it is irresponsible to frame as an opinion that which is in fact a quantifiable statement about reality in order to bypass the rigors of factual substantiation. If I were to say, "In my opinion, the earth is a cube," though it is my right to do so, it would be both inaccurate and irresponsible. In the excerpt I quoted you were irresponsibly framing as an opinion that which is not truly a matter of opinion, and THAT is the point I was trying to make.

        • Michael Hyatt

          In what way is it a quantifiable statement? I think it is inherently unquantifiable. That is precisely why I stated that it is my opinion. For you to attribute this to some sinister motive on my part is, I think, “inaccurate and irresponsible.”

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

          By the way, you realize I wrote this original piece in December 2008, right?

          • Kelley

            Yes, I realize it is an old post, but it was RT'd on my Twitter feed much more recently, so I decided to check it out.

            As to your previous comment, the question of whether or not the tone of news reporting undermines consumer confidence, and whether this then exacerbated the recession, is very much a quantifiable one, which could be tested/analyzed through economics research. It is certainly possible, and may or may not be true (I have not looked to see if any studies have been done on this) but one thing it is not is a matter of opinion.

          • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

            Great. Please report back with the results of your study, and I will modify my post accordingly.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/debjowen Deb

    I used to do this when I'd notice I had it on too much. I had to constantly feel 'connected'. (And don't get me started on political races. I can totally get sucked into those.) Now, I regulate it on a regular basis. I stay informed, and believe that's important. But not nearly as much as I used to. When it starts negatively affecting your attitude, seeps into your soul, and especially when it keeps someone from taking positive action (fretting and blaming the economy rather than taking the positive actions that *could* help in your specific circumstances) — it's time to turn it off. Or at least turn it down.

    That goes for social media too. ;-)

    Great post!
    All the best!
    deb

  • http://www.ignitiongarage.com Brett

    Amen Michael! I have been on a news fast since March, and while I have not been the most current "in-the-know" person at parties, I have been able to stay abreast of critical issues (like the BP spill). The negative economic news especially has had a negative impact on my daily thinking (it is often presented as overwhelming). Glad to hear others are feeling the same!

  • http://musicroad.blogspot.com Kerry Dexter

    throwing in an idea I learend from Christine Kane — if you’ve not looked inot her work, Michael, I think you may like ideas she has in her coaching practice. anyway, her thought is both the negative media information and criticizing the media for it are forms of reaction. as you’re suggesting here, step away from these views — she suggests on both sides of media and criticizing media. rather, when you encounter these attitudes, use them as, in her words ‘resistance training’ to remind you to work actively on your own path and goals, rather than to spend time being reactive. I’m liking that idea.

  • Cindy Beall

    Great call. I haven’t really watched the news in years. Sure, I don’t know about every single thing that goes on in the world, but my home is more peaceful. We listen to music that helps us focus on Christ and actually play games and put puzzles together. *shock*

    Enjoy your fast and subsequent peace.

  • http://www.csbc.com fermin whittaker

    Mike,
    I will also include the continued streaming of negative news re Christianity, the Church and our faith. There is a tsunami of good news taking place among believers of Jesus Christ but few are telling the story. I thought I was the only voice in this, but grateful for the gift the Lord has given you to express your thoughts. Thanks.

  • dc

    starting the day w/ Today and ending w/ Fox News? can’t think of anything worse. 24 hour “news” is the worst thing to ever happen to actual news coverage! now it’s just blah, blah, blah! turn it off people!

  • http://twitter.com/wyattrampy Wyatt Rampy

    “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love that verse. We use it at Thomas Nelson as a “content filter” in deciding what to publish.

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  • http://rachelheldevans.com Rachel Held Evans

    We got rid of our cable last year and are much happier because of it. Cable news – more so than print news, I suspect – brings you down fast.

  • http://peterpollock.com Peter P

    That’s the question… in this information-junkie society, what news do we really ‘need’ to know about?

    Need is such an interesting concept… and one whose definition changes quite dramatically depending on our circumstances.

  • http://shine4himphoto.wordpress.com Nicole

    Your question is appropriate: I’m tired of the news MEDIA. I’m tired of all the bickering, the left-wing/right-wing name calling, and the sensationalized gossip. The news itself is still good, if you can get past the reporting.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Me, too. In fact, I was talking with a media executive in L.A. this week who says that this is a growing trend, and it will affect programming going forward.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    You posted this over two years ago. Are you still fasting?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      On and off, mostly off.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        There’s a big royal wedding on Friday, just in case you haven’t heard.

  • http://www.suttonparks.com Sutton Parks

    Right on! At Christmas I bought a 42″ flat screen Vizio. I sat on the couch all winter and gained 30 lbs! April 1st I had enough. I returned it back to Sam’s Club and set some goals. So far, I’ve ran 25 consecutive days, lost 18 lbs, read four books, met several people for lunch, attended 2 networking events, practiced my guitar and piano, and did a lot of writing. The world hasn’t changed, but I have.

    • Bwenman

      Congrats!

  • Bwenman

    Have you noticed the ridiculous increase in advertisements that we get bombarded with while watching the news? I want to get the news, but there are at least 9 commercials for every 15 minutes of news. I am so tired of being sold to! Media and commercial fast for me!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree. And they seem to turn the volume up on them, too.

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    Wow! I love it! I’m in. I agree – I can’t stand the negativity, particularly because I’m not experiencing this so-called economic downturn. The nonprofit that I work for is doing the best it’s ever done (which may, to be fair, be a result of the “recession”), and I’m personally making some great business and freelance connections. I know that the economy is changing and that my children may not have the same life that I had, but I don’t necessarily know that that’s a bad thing. It’ll just be different.

  • Anonymous

    Michael, you are NOT alone. I actually told myself I’d start watching the news more, after I spoke with my mom about a ground turkey meat recall. I was sick and had eaten turkey meat, so my mom assumed it was from that. It wasn’t, thankfully, but she highly suggested I watch the news more often.

    I begged to differ.

    The news is really depressing– especially this Somalia coverage. Totally breaks my heart. I think a great healthy balance is needed if you’re going to keep up with what’s current in the world. But it’s also healthy to pull back and breathe and just bask in Joy and Peace while continuing to pray for the things happening in the world.

    I am with you 100%.

  • http://sarcasticxtian.com/ Scott Smith

    I got to the same place you describe. I’m probably at about a year since I’ve seen any network news or read a newspaper. I know there are bad things going on, but so far I’ve survived without knowing the details.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christianrayflores Christian Ray Flores

    I am so happy you posted this. I was feeling sort of the same “I don’t need this right now” thing too. The blend of news appeals to a scarcity worldview audience, which is living in the flesh and not the spirit. I want to focus on what doesn’t come naturally, our God is a God of possibility and life. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarahkovac Sarah Taylor Kovac

    AMEN! I used to check news sites daily… now I may check once a week, and I rarely watch the news on TV. If something massive happens, I’ll hear about it on Facebook or Twitter. I feel like the speed with which news travels online causes us much more grief than we were meant to bear. If it weren’t for the internet, I wouldn’t stress over the politics and economy of the entire world. Maybe if we each focused on our own neighborhoods, our own companies… heck, our own HOMES, the world would be a better, place.

  • Peter

    I’ve been taking some very similar step for about 10 days now. Great ideas.  I have also “Unfollowed” all the news organizations and political types (both Dems & GOP).  It’s been so refreshing.

  • Diane Stortz

    Ab.So.Lute.Ly.

  • Sheila Hollinghead

    I’ve already done it. So tired of all the gloom and doom!

  • Kevin

    Im happier when I fast from drudge!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Drudge is the worst, isn’t it. It’s negative and sensational—two lethal combinations.

  • http://twitter.com/Blair_Howell Blair Howell

    Way to go Mike!  I am with you 100%.  I just got back from a vacation where I turned off all media for over a week and it was the most amazing experience… I spent more time with my kids, more time with my wife and most importantly more time with God.  And guess what… I didn’t miss it at all.  Actually, the time gave me a fresh perspective on life, my relationships, my job and I figured that if there is something important to know, God will let me know about it!  More and more I am hearing God whisper “My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”

    Blessings…

  • http://www.theproductivitymaven.com Tara Rodden Robinson

    I stopped watching the news on 9/12/01.

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    We have a local station here in Atlanta (WXIA, 11Alive) that has taken on being the “positive news station”…. I do watch them. Their tag is “News that Actually Helps You”. Yes, you get the top stories of the day (which aren’t usually positive) along with lots of uplifting and helpful news stories that would normally never be told. Some call it sappy, but most find it refreshing and I like it.

  • Joe Lalonde

    A timely mention on Twitter. I’ve been trying to cut down on my news consumption also. Some days I do great, others I fail. But a news fast can be a great thing.

  • Tkcprophet

    Wow…. Had the very same thought today. Our church is about to finishe a 21 day food fast. While pondering on that today, I decided to call a media fast at the end of the 21 days which will be midnight this Sunday. Bless you for your influence and inspiration!

  • http://iconart.us Matthew Lawler

    Great job diagnosing the problem! Seriously. I’ve been feeling some similar sentiments about my own limitations and inability to change certain things. And I came to some similar resolutions in terms of limiting my media intake. Especially good call on turning off Fox News- they are the king of nonsensical trashy news- but then again, they always have been. A new world hope awaits those who turn of their televisions to start considering the future as the present. Thanks for your commitment to do this- and your public announcement to do so!

  • http://twitter.com/RELM2 Jennifer Good

    Love this article and I’m joining you!

  • http://www.jonstallings.com Jon Stallings

    I had a similar conversation with a coworker just the other day. He is preparing for Armageddon.  The adage is true – Garbage in, Garbage out.

  • http://twitter.com/donhornsby donhornsby

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here Michael.  I completely understand the feelings that you are experiencing – as I have felt them myself.  I have attempted a mini-version of the media fast you have outlined since the beginning of the year.  Your post has given me additional ideas to add to a new daily template.  

    I completely agree with you on this topic!

  • Tammy Owens

    Tammy Owens Amen,
    Michael! I stopped watching TV 5 months ago for this very reason, and
    it has made a big difference in how I spend my time, my thinking and
    productivity. It is one of the best decisions I’ve made and I have no
    regrets! I agree we don’…t
    need to bury our heads in the sand or close ourselves off from the
    world completely, but you don’t know what you’re missing if you’re not
    watching. And, as you said if there’s something major going on in the
    world you’ll hear about regardless. After all, news travels fast with
    6+ billion people in the world! 

  • Mistyhymel

    The news is usually on after I workout. I realized with the 10 or so robberies and murders, a person might not ever leave their house! It gets depressing! I would rather listen to the positive!

  • Bill Jones

    As we went through a Bible Study on Trusting God a couple of years ago, I decided it was time to stop watching/listening/reading the news. Despite what seems to be an out of control world, God is in control and is carrying out His perfect plan. It has been a much more peaceful existence. I still pray, and will learn enough that I can vote prudently, but otherwise, there’s not a lot I can do about anything out of my little section of the world. 

  • Jody

    Just please vote in November !

  • 1michaellemme

    Michael- I totally agree with you. My wife and I gave up cable a few months ago, and I have been more productive than ever. If something happens, I will find out. Thanks for your post.

  • http://mnhometown.com/ Jake Olson

    I have a four year old, so I’ve been on a four year media fast.  Whenever we choose to turn the TV on, it’s basically Nick Jr.  We’re definitely better for it.

  • Joanie

    I did this about 3 years ago, I am still fasting. I love it ! my mental health is much better, there is almost always nothing that you can do to change what’s going on around the world. Change the lives of the people around you, you will see there is plenty of bad news right at your workplace, neighborhood, or children s school. Good for you, I hope you can get over the initial bewilderment, but once that has passed enjoy the world at your doorstep.

  • Karen Gordon-Kahau

    I’ve never really been much of a news-reader or watcher.   I’ve always found it a bit stressful.  It’s not that I am unaware, it’s just I don’t feel the need to dwell on it all the time.  Like you said, if it’s something I need to know about, someone will tell me.  So far, it hasn’t failed me. 

  • http://www.jeannenigro.com/ Jeanne Nigro

    Very wise Michael. I have not had TV or radio news on in my house for the past 10 years. God has not given us a spirit of fear, and the enemy uses this news to instill fear in us that makes us ineffective for God. It also puts a lot of clutter in our minds instead of keeping our minds stayed on Him which brings us the peace and intimacy with God that we need to navigate through these crazy times and continue to fulfill His purposes for us! Congrats on your fast and keep it up!!

  • http://twitter.com/Mitzi_Eaker Mitzi Eaker

    Well said! I did this very thing Sunday morning after David Platt’s sermon at Brookhills. http://bit.ly/QjVR3l Priorities changed! Before, I was in a tail spin of worry about what was going on and frustration with the media. Watching TV was doing nothing but getting me off track. After Sunday, I was refocused on my purpose and the things I have been given responsibility and authority over. Including prayer.

  • Caro Bee

    I did that about 10 years ago, I don’t even own a TV set and I really don’t feel the need. I have my computer for movies and such. I hear important news from others and I comnect from time to time when I need an update on something and then again, I google the specific info. Ahhhh freeing the brain, I’m much more creative and relationship oriented.

  • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

    One word – GENIUS!

  • Robyn Mellar-Smith

    Mike, I agree with you. In my line of work I deal with some sad issues, I do not need a constant stream of sad into all pores.
    I live in New Zealand & over the past few years I have really noticed an increase in writing the news story from the angle with the biggest emotional pull, e.g. “Man killed in car accident was to marry long-time love.”
    We have a reasonably high youth suicide rate & I wonder if one contribution is this constant focus on the sad & bad by the media?
     

  • http://www.denadyer.com/ Dena Dyer

    Very tired. For years now, the only news I get is on the Christian radio station I listen to and in The Week magazine (a weekly “hit the highlights” publication which gives both sides of stories and is like a Reader’s Digest of everything), plus our local small-town paper. I just can’t stand all the junk, and when I indulge, it really affects me. Glad you are doing this, and publicizing it. I think the news media’s negativity contributes to our nation’s high rate of depression and anxiety. Good for you!

  • Sunshinex

    Agreed. Thus our creation of The Sunshine Express. Only the good news. Find us online :)

  • Mitch Moyer

    I now appreciate sport talk radio.

  • Shari

    So, check in with us in 21 days… The time period it generally takes to change behavior patterns and let us know how it is going for you. Oh, and I already subscibe to your theory, too.

  • Ben Matthews

    Darren Hardy would definitely agree with you, and so do I!  Spending mental energy on things outside of our control is generally unproductive and there are ways of staying “current” without being immersed.  There are already plenty of things that threaten my attitude and mental state without being immersed in negative media.  Your mind is a garden and what that garden produces will greatly depend on what you feed it!

  • BLanca

    I did this for a while and it changed my thinking. In going to try it again…

  • Beth

    I reduced my news intake some time ago. I think only good has come from that for me. And I expect the world did not notice my absence from it. I’m not totally disconnected – I love GMA in the mornings. But i’m not a new junkie like I use to be and I think I”m more balanced for it. Good for you – there is life beyond the news. And it’s better!

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.stanfield.7 Matt Stanfield

    The news stuff is just horrible. I stopped reading it on the advice of Tim Ferriss in the 4 Hour Work Week and life has just been better. That was 3 months ago. It is more peaceful, saves time, and people really will tell you if something big happens, like the Boston bombing.

    Going back to reading the news would just be impossible for me now. It just ruins too much.

  • John Greene

    been news free for the last week. i choose to encourage those in my sphere of influence and not be polluted by the lack of truth (news). it also frees up my creative mind in order to write deeper.

  • Marie

    I agree that we need to see more positive stories, especially about our youth! How about featuring a great teenage violinist or something enlightening? Let’s highlight talent, innovation, hard work, and intellect rather than relentlessly rehashing worse case scenarios. Life is full of fascinating things!

  • Jenna B

    I’m in.

  • http://EntrepreneurNextDoor.net John Olson

    Michael, I went cold turkey about 3 months ago. I was tired of being mad all the time. I refocused my attention on my business and my family and my time with God. I am a much happier person as a result. I don’t think I will ever go back now. So I say tah-tah talking heads!

  • http://EntrepreneurNextDoor.net John Olson

    Fast? I say make a clean (forever) break!