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How to change your media diet

The high velocity of news these days is making some people pull back. This NYT article has some tips on coping.

From the NYT (“Fatigued by the News? Experts Suggest How to Adjust Your Media Diet“):

Some have found comfort in positive news, said Seán Dagan Wood, editor in chief of Positive News, a website and quarterly print magazine that highlights “quality independent reporting that focuses on progress and possibility.”

In the 12 weeks since the election, visitors to the website have increased by 93 percent, and magazine subscriptions are up by 77 percent compared with the 12 weeks before the election, Mr. Wood said in an email.

For those glued to the news, Curtis W. Reisinger, a clinical psychologist at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., recommended not reading or watching any just before bedtime because thoughts of how to respond to it can disrupt sleep. Better to watch sports or entertainment rather than the “worry content” of news, he said.

Nir Eyal, who writes a blog about “behavioral design” — the intersection of psychology, technology and business — said he habitually turned to campaign coverage to momentarily distract him from his work and escape from “an uncomfortable reality.”

What he found, however, was that he traded one uncomfortable reality (the demand to get his work done) for another (the addictive quality of watching the news for fear he was missing out on something).

“The solution became the problem,” he said.

In a recent blog post, How to Stay Informed Without Losing Your Mind,” he noted that “online news is never done,” adding that reading it left him “overwhelmed, exhausted and anxious.”

“The internet never says, ‘You’ve had enough, now go away,’” he wrote.

Mr. Eyal has changed some of his habits; he has installed the News Feed Eradicator for Facebook and removed Facebook and Twitter apps from his iPhone, checking them only from his desktop.

He has also taken to reading a daily newspaper because editors select the top stories and spare him from reading “the incomplete, incremental, second-rate stuff often published online.”

“And when I physically turned the last page of the newspaper — such a satisfying moment — I felt as if I’d read enough to be informed for the day,” he said.

Wed, February 1 2017 » Main Page, Media