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Bad News by Rolf Dobelli

Rolf Dobelli: 10 Reasons The News Can Be Toxic To Your Health

Your local news can become very overwhelming and it can definitely create unnecessary stress. Radio and News stations do tend to pin point the most dramatic stories, leaving most people feeling a little more afraid and worried about the world they live in. The News can easily affect your mind in a very negative nature. Worldly renowned author Rolf Dobelli of his upcoming book The Art of Thinking Clearly: Better Thinking, Better Decisions voiced his opinion by writing an article for The Guardian stating that “News is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest”. He cleverly says “Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-colored candies for the mind.” It’s certainly a debatable issue as some suggest that the News can keep you aware of the world you live in and neglecting it may isolate you from society making you a social outcast. This may very well be true. On the contrary,the international best selling author, Rolf Dobelli broke down his opinion of the top 10 reasons why the news can be toxic and unhealthy for your body and mind and why it’s not parallel to your inner happiness.


1. The News Is Misguiding & Misleading

“We are not rational enough to be exposed to the press. Watching an airplane crash on television is going to change your attitude toward that risk, regardless of its real probability.”


2. It Can Be Very Irrelevant & Unnecessary

“Out of the approximately 10,000 ‘news stories’ you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business.”


3. No Explanatory Power

“If more information leads to higher economic success, we’d expect journalists to be at the top of the pyramid. That’s not the case.”


4. News Can be Toxic to Your Body

“Your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitization.”


5.  Increases More Cognitive Errors

“Our brains crave stories that “make sense” – even if they don’t correspond to reality.”


6. It Inhibits Thinking and Concentration

“Thinking requires concentration. Concentration requires uninterrupted time. News pieces are specifically engineered to interrupt you. They are like viruses that steal attention for their own purposes. News makes us shallow thinkers.” 


7. Highly Addictive

  ”As stories develop, we want to know how they continue. With hundreds of arbitrary story lines in our heads, this craving is increasingly compelling and hard to ignore.”


8. Wastes Productive Time

“Information is no longer a scarce commodity. But attention is. You are not that irresponsible with your money, reputation or health. Why give away your mind?”


9. Makes us Passive & Pessimistic

“The daily repetition of news about things we can’t act upon makes us passive. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitized, sarcastic and fatalistic.”


10. Destroys Creativity & Imagination

 "If you want to come up with old solutions, read news. If you are looking for new solutions, don’t.” 


Rolf Dobelli does take an extreme angle, but he makes some very strong arguments as he boldly details that news can be toxic as it adds fear, make us passive and pessimistic individuals, kills creativity and it can ultimately steal our joy and peace creating unnecessary depression. The highly praised book which hit the US book shelves May 14, 2013, was written by this Swiss born Novelist who researched behavioral economics, psychology, and neuroscience to help advise people to make better decisions and think more clearly in a world that bombards us with information. The book is not just about the News affecting our thinking, but it elaborates more on the idea of how to simplify our minds to make better decisions and not get caught up in cognitive errors so that we have a better insight to our minds producing more clarity.





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