At the beginning of this year, I made a concerted effort to avoid watching the news. I did this because I suspected it was mostly fearmongering, that I was buying into this fear, and that it was affecting my general stress levels and overall health. I also suspected that I was accepting statements delivered by the news without much critical thinking on my part. Mostly though, I did it just to experiment. Of all the resolutions I have ever made, it has been one of the most beneficial ones, and I would encourage others to at least ignore national or international news. This page is split into the following sections:

  • Health Effects of Fearmongering
  • Is Ignoring the MSM Ignorance?
  • Tips and Tricks
  • Health Effects of Fearmongering

    You probably already know that you can find more studies than you can shake a stick at. And they're all relatively easy to find by trawling through citations. So, does this argument really need to be fleshed out? The MSM doles out negative news because that gives them views. Negative news increases stress levels (see the above link spam). Increased stress levels lead to almost every negative health outcome imaginable. When you're under a state of heightened stress, anxiety, or fear, you're more easily controlled.

    Is Ignoring the MSM Ignorance?

    An immediate counterargument is whether or not ignoring the news constitutes simply being ignorant to the world and its dangers, including dangers that you might need to know.

    First of all, does the MSM actually report the news? How good of a job do they do? Were they right about TARP needing to get passed and not being a giant bailout package for major financial corporations? Were they right about the WMDs in Iraq? Were they right about the Gulf of Tonkin? About the USS Maine? About the swine flu? About the H1N1? What even is their track record for whipping up fear over things that turn out to be nothing? How often is their reporting overblown?

    Secondly, if the MSM did not tell you about them, would you really remain ignorant? Would you really not have a relative or family member or coworker mention a zombie outbreak or a war happening? Do you think you wouldn't end up hearing about it around the water cooler? Would you not notice huge storm clouds outside your house?

    Thirdly, even if the news was accurate, and even if you wouldn't have heard of it otherwise, would it be in your control? Would the latest court actions on {insert global warming, gun control, abortion, or some other hot button topic here} really be something you can do anything about? This last point is why, if you must watch or read the news at all, it makes a lot more sense to do so for you city. At least you can go up to a city councilman and talk to him, unlike the President or your congressman. To paraphrase Epictetus, either something is in your control, or it is not. Why worry about that which is not in your control?

    Tips and Tricks

    What follows is the setup I use to avoid MSM online (it should go without saying that getting out of social media is a must).

  • uBlock - This lets you build custom filters by simply clicking on elements in the page. I find this extremely helpful to avoid clickbait like the "recommended" or "trending" feeds that if you pay attention, often send you to fearmongering videos or articles. Some suggestions to use it on are: Youtube/Odysee/Bitchute/Invidious/Stack Overflow/Imgur recommendation sidebars, thumbnails on Youtube/Odysee/Bitchute/Invidious, comment section on Youtube/Odysee/Bitchute/Invidious, Youtube/Odysee/Bitchute/Invidious front page suggestions.
  • Site Blocker - To help explicitly block ABC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC, etc.
  • Advanced Profanity Filter - Ignore the intended profanity use case, just use it to block common clickbait phrases.
  • PocketTube - To make my own sub feed that will actually update correctly and not "shadow ban" certain people.