“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” – Hunter S. Thompson
You don’t have to live like Hunter S. Thompson in order to understand his point of view. After watching the news last night, I turned off the TV with a heavy heart. Within an hour I watched four separate distressing stories in a row. In present-day we literally have news at our fingertips at all times. It is accessible from our computers, from our smartphones and our TV’s. We don’t always like what we are watching, but we feel the necessity to do so. We have been told over and over again that we need to know what’s going on in the world around us. It’s been ingrained in us.
Just in the last thirty days, there have been a few big stories on constant repeat in the news. A jetliner carrying 239 people disappeared into thin air. In the year 2014, the idea that a plane can actually get lost without a trace is a frighting thought. Continuous footage of the passenger’s grieving families is replayed over and over again.
Then there is the news about the high amounts of carbon monoxide that is in our air; the highest amounts since before cavemen existed. And they say it will only get worse, and will eventually kill us all. Not exactly a comforting thought. Most of these types of stories can be found on repeat 24 hours a day on any news channels. If that’s not enough, updates can be provided by email and are accessible any hour of the day, you can even set up text alerts.
Sometimes I have to wonder if it’s only bad news that is funneled through the news stations and delivered to us in a big, sad package. We can hardly escape it. There is something to be said about looking outside your own little world and knowing what’s going on with the rest of the universe. But is it always necessary? I for one, think not. I think hearing stressful, sad or depressing news on a daily basis can start to affect your quality of life. It’s no wonder that we are a society of anxious people; most of us are just waiting for that other shoe to drop.
We live in a world of information overload, which can cause most of us to walk around ina semi-state of panic. What we shouldn’t forget is how short life is. Nothing is guaranteed, any of us can drop off at any point. Life is really too short to take it all so seriously. We need to lighten up! Some of us need to remember how to experience joy. How to live for the moment; and not overthink everything.
There is still some good left in the world, I don’t think that we are not all doomed. When everything looks so dreary, it may just be a little harder to see. But turn off your TV, look away from your phone, and you might catch a glimpse.