Disclaimer: If you’re looking to read something useful, I suggest a detour to foreignpolicy.com (or the like). This is merely an early morning, introspective rambling.
Diary of an Ostrich: Newspaper Rehab
So there’s something seriously troubling about the way I have been avoiding newspapers. There’s a distinct pattern:
1. Avoiding the breakfast table.
With three daily newspapers (and four weekly magazines) spread out in a rather daunting chiarascuro, the falsely comforting aroma of chai doesn’t do much to ease the atmosphere. The newspapers will lure you; especially when both your parents will break into rhythmic discussions about Pakistan ka Haal. If you join in the chorus, “baita, politcs is a dirty business.. You’re too young to be influenced by this cynicism”. And when you remind them that you decided to change your major to international relations and journalism, so now this is very academic, they might remind you that journalism is probably the last field that should be on your mind. You can’t blame them either 😦 (http://english.alarabiya.net/views/2011/06/08/152340.html).
2. Limiting how much you read your newsfeed on Facebook.
Chances are if something major is happening in the world, your friends will be posting/tweeting about it. If you’re in newspaper rehab, clicking that depressing article link is the equivalent of OD’ing while in rehab. Bad idea.
3. Watch TV shows
If it’s brainless, it’s good for you. If it makes you lament human depravity, and mourn your helplessness in the situation, stay away. I watched about 15 movies in the course of 4 weeks. People say I’m recovering.
Why am I not doing something about it?
Because it’s masochistic to depress yourself.
Ever felt this after reading newspapers:
- you can’t sleep or you sleep too much
- you can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
- you feel hopeless and helpless
- you can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
- you have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
- you are much more irritable and short-tempered than usual
If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical newspaper depression.
Here’s a random screenshot of World News from today (from http://www.1stheadlines.com/, a website collecting top news headlines 24 hours from around the world). I can’t say I blame my newspaper abstinence anymore. It’s for the higher cause of sanity of mind.