Death Takes a Holiday

May 23rd, 2016

The word ‘informed’ tends to have a positive connotation for many reasons including the prevailing opinion that more knowledge is better than less knowledge. This idea is not straightforward, however. Alexander Pope is credited with the quote “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.” When you add in the sensory issues and emotional dysregulation ADHD is prone to, you have a recipe for disaster and agreement with Mr. Pope.

I have been on a 90% ‘news holiday’ almost from the moment of discovering the strategy a few years ago. The idea is a simple one, but not easy. An individual avoids all sources of current events broadcasts in an effort to insulate themselves from the emotional stress caused by upsetting news items. This can last any amount of time.

When I first started, and mentioned it to a friend, I was told I was “willfully ignorant”. I would tend to agree with those words since the action (or inaction) I’m taking is willful and I am choosing ignorance. However the implication was obviously a negative one, as if I was wrong in the choice I was making, for some reason. I chose not to cause unnecessary conflict around the subject, but now I wish I had asked my friend what it was about this strategy that was so unconscionable in her eyes.

From my perspective, my choice to avoid all news benefits not only me, but everyone around me. If I am better able to manage my emotions then logically everyone in my immediate circle will receive more balanced treatment from me. Weighed against the ability to engage in discourse about the Kardashian family, the controversial American political race, or ‘elbowgate’, I choose the emotional and relationship benefits.

As a result of this strategy, I have been better able to actively learn about current events that interest me. I also am a visitor to such sites as The Good News Network and Upworthy.

What are other things we could eliminate from our lives to our benefit?