Taking a Break From the Media

Man Working Computer Internet Journalism Global Media Concept

Man Working Computer Internet Journalism Global Media Concept

Brandon Chen, Editor-In-Chief

How often do you check the news? From reading actual news sites to constantly checking Twitter and Instagram for any updates, news isn’t that new. The pandemic is still going on, and as we continue to see numbers of COVID cases rise, other countries/states opening, or how our country is coping with the pandemic in regards to others, it just makes us feel worse. It’s time to take a break.

Constantly checking the news every hour only adds to stress and anxiety. Our country is still amidst an economic crisis and pandemic, and we don’t know when it will all get better. Reading an article speculating about the upcoming weeks, an op-ed about how the administration has handled COVID-19, or a toxic Twitter thread argument does nothing to help.

So it’s time to go on a “news diet.” It’s time to take a break. Track time spent on news sites and social media (especially Twitter). If you check every hour, maybe change it to just twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Fight the urge to check it at night since it will only induce stress right before sleep. If necessary, use built in features like Apple’s “Screen Time” or Google “Digital Wellbeing” to curb that addiction by setting time limits and available hours on certain apps.

For many, mindlessly scrolling and taking in information has become the way we take breaks. In between tasks, we naturally pick up our phones and open Instagram or Twitter or the news. It’s going to be difficult to curb that habit—but since these do not actually give us a break and only stimulate us more, try to find something else to do! Take a walk, listen to music, find a good book or audiobook that simulates scrolling and tapping a screen without adding to the anxiety of being always connected to the world. If you listen to podcasts, make sure they aren’t news-related. For social media, unfollow things or people you don’t genuinely care about or filter out any words such as “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” or any other words that you don’t really need to see.

Will you have FOMO? What exactly are you missing out on except another story about the current crisis? If there’s a news cycle or story that is truly important, like a working vaccine that has finally come out or new rules for country reopening, you’ll know. So for now, just take a step back and actually relax.


Graphic Courtesy of PRDAILY.COM