Why I Don't Keep Up with All the News -- Thoughts on Anxiety and the Headlines

I am embarrassed to admit this, but really the only news I get is through the headlines posted on the side bar of my Facebook page.

I don't watch the news. I don't read newspapers or magazines. I don't even listen to the radio.

I have a fear of telling people that, because I don't want to be seen as an inward focused, ignorant person. There have been a few times in my life when I've encountered worldly, well informed people that have looked down their noses at me, ESPECIALLY if the conversation happened upon politics. 

It's like they think I don't care when, in fact, I do. Don't mistake my lack of conversation on news and politics as lack of passion or empathy. I think most anxiety ridden people are extremely passionate and empathetic. So much so that we take on the anxiety of others' situations and injustices to an unhealthy degree. 

I certainly don't want you to think that I stand idly by when I feel there are injustices happening toward others. I have and will take a stand for people and issues. I just want you to know that when I express it, it's probably taken hours and hours of obsessing over wordage. I have gone through weak knees, fluttery stomach, and the shakes before saying it. AND I will worry about the aftermath of my comments for DAYS to come. Anxious people usually hate confrontation. 

There are countless times that I wish people could just get in my head for awhile (don't we ALL wish that sometimes?), but that would mean they would see all my crazy!

Well, I'm over it. so, here goes.

Let me just give you ONE example from the past that I can think of as an example of how my mind works when I see or read the news. 

Remember, not long ago, when the Ebola outbreak happened? One of my biggest anxiety triggers is sickness so, this was all triggered simply by a one sentence headline -- not even reading the article. 

"Ebola -- highly contagious -- most everyone dies -- horrific bodily functions -- people travel on planes -- in close proximity -- it's coming -- Ebola is coming -- research symptoms -- research all the horrible effect of the sickness -- research how it spreads -- research how others have survived -- need to build up immunity -- research how to build up immunity -- research every herb, multi-vitamin, and food that can boost the immune system -- must get all those things -- all those things are very expensive -- whoa. How are our finances? -- I need to check our savings -- are we saving enough? -- are we going to be able to retire ever -- forget retirement -- what if i need long term care? -- how are we gonna pay for that? -- who is going to care for me when I am old? -- will I just be an old person living on the street? -- will I die alone?"

Replay this all hundreds of times a day as the death toll rose from the Ebola outbreak day by day. 

I can read that and tell you it's ridiculous and irrational. I know that. Anxious people know that their thought processes are irrational. You don't need to tell us that.

Regardless, it happens. And when my mind races like that, a whole lot of adrenaline and other hormones are released. Then come the physical symptoms of anxiety. Literally, I feel sick and that's just one headline.

I think technology and the fact that we are connected on a world wide level is one the of the best and worst things ever. What we consider to be normal levels of anxiety today would have put someone in an asylum a hundred years ago. I can't help but think that technology and access to all the worlds' news (and now add to that social media) has something to do with the massive amount of anxiety in people these days.

There is something so beautiful and amazing about being so connected to the world, but are we really better off for it? I don't always think so. Tell me what you think; start of conversation in the comments. 


  1. You are absolutely amazing! You know that!

    1. Awe, Sandy! Thanks for reading. You are the sweetest.

  2. This sounds exactly like me. :) When the whole ebola thing happened I looked up every possible natural cure and stocked up on Vitamin C since which was the best choice for prevention/treatment for our family. Lots of people in my life don't really understand either when I don't listen to the news, worry about the politics, etc. I'll either get super anxious just like you mentioned with the sweaty palms, nausea, racing heart, or I'll have an emotional trigger where I get really ornery (the best way I can describe it with out going over a PG rating :P) and won't be able to calm down until something or someone somehow cheers me up. I love and care about all the people who these tragedies are happening to, and I feel bad, I weep for them, and pray for them, but if it doesn't directly affect me and my family in this instant, and I can't actually do something to help, besides sending a humanitarian donation, I really don't want to hear about it because it will just cause disaster on my family life and nobody needs an ornery mama ... (P.S. I'm not trying to be as insensitive as this probably reads.)

    1. That is no exaggeration. NOBODY does well with an ornery mama! The sadness and tragedy of the world is too heavy for our shoulders. We were never meant to carry it, but the media sometimes makes us think we do. I'm not saying we shouldn't help in ways we are able. But, God gave us plenty to take care of as it is; He's got the rest. So many of us just don't trust that in the least.

  3. I'm so glad you wrote this, because I've been thinking this same thing after what happened in Paris. It's not that I am ignorant to what is happening, but in some ways some of this is so hard to follow to begin with. Then, the moment you try to follow or figure it out, there's just so much angst. Some of it is I'm just too lazy to get up early enough to read the news before kids are up. Then, comes night and I'm too tired to try to deal. I'm so afraid of admitting to people that I don't read the paper or watch the news because I don't want it to look like I don't care. I really do. I've just got so much to care about in my 3 kiddos at home that it's on the backburner. You are right about the media too. There are so many positives to having the world at our finger tips and at the same time I feel like social media and this sensationalizing of tragedies brings our world to such negative places.

  4. SUCH negative places. As soon as a tragedy happens, people start reacting to everything about it -- then we see hashtag battles about what lives matter. We see people shaming others for not caring about other parts of the world. It all snowballs into big huge angry, discouraging messes.