A few weeks ago my 6 yr old son was sitting next to me while I was watching the news. I was a bit distracted and didn’t realize he was sitting there, but after a while he said something to me that made me turn off the TV. His words were “Daddy, why are there so many dead people on the news?”. He doesn’t watch the news very often, and we tend to not watch it when he is around. But even so, he noticed there is a lot of bad stuff in the news. Six years old, he should not be asking us this.
I was telling Ian Hayward about this (I’m with Ian in San Francisco). He told me that he had not watched the news in over 2 years. The reason for it is that he feels that we are all too influenced by the things reported to us. I thought about that for a while, and I tend to agree with him. We all know the feeling of going on a 2-week holiday and not following the news. It actually helps us feel great during the vacation. Ian has been on a 2 year vacation already.
Other examples. How about the feeling of panic that is fuled by the news around the financial crisis? Don’t get me wrong, there is a crisis. But the economy is influenced strongly by consumer trust. If we don’t trust. we spend less, and we get into a spiral that takes the economy down further.
I sometimes feel the same way about all these social media conversations. They are a lot of fun, but people sometimes take it a bit too seriously. The professional blogosphere is a game. It is a game where (some) people make money. Big sites aren’t there for your entertainment, they are there to make tons of money. Traffic over relevance. Stories promoted into our rss readers. And this is fine btw. As long as we don’t take it all too seriously. There is more to life than spending your time in social media conversations. Its fun, its play, but its imapct isn’t life-changing yet (although it takes away a lot of time 😉 ). In the end it is all about what you do in real-life. Don’t let your feelings be manipulated too much by what others think or say out loud. Make up your own mind!
I’ll be turning off the TV a bit more.