Boycott Negative News

By Alex Cromartie, CPT

So you may think this article doesn’t have anything to do with fitness, but I would argue the contrary a thousand times. The more I learn about the human body, the more I learn of the very real negative impact stress and emotional negativity have on it. Likewise, I’ve learned the nourishing effect happiness, contentment, and connectedness to others have on your body, mind, and spirit. It can be hard to keep this more beneficial mindset though with the thousands of negative images repeatedly displayed on front  of us every time we turn on the TV. Print media is just as bad, but there is something unique about the television’s ability to remain on all day, with it’s (usually) negative images slowly soaking into you’re subconscious mind. Sure, you’ve heard this particular broadcast do a 90 minute loop three times now, but there’s nothing else on, and since there’s a former Miss New Jersey doing the broadcast this is probably the best I can do at 10:00 in the morning, right? WRONG! Turn it off.

With the creation of CNN in the 1980’s, televised news for the first time began to depend on ratings. Soon after, they and the other news networks that followed learned that outrageous headlines, gore, and violence meant ratings. Over the next 25 years, televised news broadcasts morphed from a public service designed to inform, to the shock-u-tainment you see every time you turn on CNN, HLN, FOX, or your local nightly news. The problem is that while the repetitive circulation of these stories may get ratings, they have a cumulative effect on the psyche of the individuals watching the broadcasts, and on our society at large. By highlighting the very worst that our world has to offer, this process constantly ingrains this negativity into our mindsets. We feel isolated, and interact with the world as it were an enemy, instead of the life-affirming organism that it is.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been drawn into the psychological trap these stations set on more than one occasion. I even remember a time when I thought that I was “keeping myself informed” by watching them. But I’ve learned there are some things I just don’t need to have thrown in my face 500 times a day. Watching these images repeatedly desensitizes ourselves and our society to violence and to the suffering of others. Don’t mistake me for someone being naive, or pretending there isn’t a problem with violence in our society. On the contrary, I’m suggesting the very real truth that this type of broadcast helps perpetuate the negative behavior. By taking responsibility for our own emotional wellbeing and not watching this garbage, we begin to stop the cycle of violence. One of the best examples of this “violence cycle” has to be the car chases you see daily in L.A. The criminals know they are going to be on the local nightly news (or at least COPS), so the media actually helps to perpetuate the crime! I’m not blaming the media here. Like all public companies these days, they only answer to their stockholders. But this process has become a downward spiral that is taking it’s toll on on our  health and well being.

So what do we do about it? Money talks these days, so if that’s the game we have to play, so be it. You vote with your dollars (or in this case with your veiwership), so the solution is simple… DON’T WATCH IT! Believe it or not, it actually feels very liberating to not have the crap you see on the news floating around in your head all day. This allows room for positive thoughts, the likes of which can greatly influence your day. We must demand quality news! We need to be informed of the important ongoings in our world. The things that matter, and the ones that we can influence, not the lowest common denominator headline based news that proliferates the cable networks today. Fight the urge to watch the garbage being perpetrated as news. After you overcome the addictive like urge to sneak a peek, you will notice that your attitude, your emotional wellbeing, and your physical health will begin to improve.

But what if something important were to happen, and I’m the last to know about it? One way to avoid the barrage of mental garbage put forth by the news media, and still stay informed is to simply download and use your favorite news media’s app. You’ll get instant messages whenever anything important happens, so you will actually learn important information quicker than those watching broadcast loops. Of course, it’s true that you’re still supporting the news company by downloading their app (and you do still get a lot of negative news delivered to you this way), but at least you can put it down after you read it, and it isn’t thrown in your face over and over, thus damaging your emotional well being.

Finally, join Boycott Negative News by liking it on Facebook at and share it with your freinds. The page is just being set up, so go ahead and “like it” for now, there will be more activity soon. Also, make sure to comment with others about ways we can convince the news media to produce important, relevant, action-based news. Not the headline based shock-u-tainment news it has become.

1 thought on “Boycott Negative News

  1. I can noticeably see my mood change if I’ve been watching the news. I haven’t seen any all weekend and woke up in a great mood! 😀

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