We are saturated with sensational news, which overwhelms and causes distress and anxiety.
The Victorians of the 1800's had the same problem. Women were warned about the harm it would do them if they got into a habit of reading the news, especially if the news was always sensational and bad. One old article I read which was directed to women of the era suggested that they put their minds "to better use."
The article went on to list things worth reading and learning, including developing knowledge and skills that would benefit them for life and provide help and comfort to their families. Refinement Schools admonished young ladies to better themselves by improving their minds in serious study of things more important than newspapers--often called "rags" because of the rag-paper they were printed on and the questionable reports they printed.
Of course this warning was interpreted by modernists as being against women, (when it was intended to prevent depression and promote happiness.) Women also knew, even before modern scientific studies, that the mind was the center of emotion which affected their over-all female health. It was thought that a woman's cycle and reproductive system, physical stamina and mental health were greatly affected by her associations, what she read, watched, talked about, etc. The mind is intricately connected to many things in the body.
As guardians of the home, many women took seriously the duty of keeping corrupt conversation and bad influences from the family.
This may have been one reason they were cautioned about reading news reports. I think we all know it is true today, too. The news makes us think life is so unstable that the sun and the earth could collide any day; that the economy is collapsing. *️⃣ (See this symbol, at the end of the post)This makes us unable to concentrate on creating a happy home.
We cannot be the light of the home to anyone when our minds are clouded over with the latest bad news. The news affects our emotions, and robs us of a sense of well-being. When that happens, our families feel our nervousness and it affects them in different ways.
Modernists have always despised the Victorians for their so called restrictions, but as our world news gets crazier, we can see their restrictions more as protections. In many ways, women then were treasured and held in higher esteem than today. Such attitudes are reflected in the poem by Edgar A. Guest, called "At the Door", reminding men to leave the cruelty and harshness of the world at the door before entering the home; not to bring home any bad news. In those days, people believed that home life should be free from the worries of the world in order to create a haven of rest. It was considered poor form if a man put pressure or burdens on a woman at home.
It is interesting that Mr. Guest (1888-1959) was a newspaper reporter (from England) whose job it was to find human-interest stories and poems to fill up sections of the newspaper. He finally decided he could write the poetry and put a positive light on life. He wrote over a hundred poems about the home and family during war time.
At the Door
He wiped his shoes before his door,
But ere he entered he did more:
'Twas not enough to cleanse his feet
of dirt they'd gathered in the street;
He stood and dusted off his mind
And left all trace of care behind.
"In here I will not take," said he,
"The stains the day has brought to me.
"Beyond this door shall never go
The burdens that are mine to know;
The day is done, and here I leave
The petty things that vex and grieve;
What clings to me of hate and sin
To them I will not carry in;
Only the good shall go with me
For their devoted eyes to see.
"I will not burden them with cares,
Nor track the home with grim affairs;
I will not at my table sit
With soul unclean, and mind unfit;
Beyond this door I will not take
The outward signs of inward ache;
I will not take a dreary mind
Into this house for them to find."
He wiped his shoes before his door,
But paused to do a little more.
He dusted off the strains of strife,
The mud that's indecent to life,
The blemishes of careless thought,
The traces of the fight he'd fought,
The selfish humors and the mean,
And when he entered he was clean.
Now let us take a look at some of the early newspapers in the west. One historical record about newspapers in the Victorian era claimed they were not considered very respectable and in fact were originally called "yellow journals" because the subject matter was so sordid and not fit for healthy, intelligent minds. Often the reports were exaggerated in a sensational way in order to keep people buying the papers to keep abreast with an ongoing event. You can read more about that here: http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-yellow-journalism-definition-history-examples.html
News reports keep people in a constant state of anxiety, and like the yellow journalism of the past, not everything they report can be proven. Some reports, even from conservative news media, are designed to get a desired response from people. When you read or hear a broadcast, think for a moment what it makes you feel like doing. Does it make you want to live a life of praise, or does it make you feel despair? Does listening to the news make you feel like cleaning house, sewing a dress, styling your hair, reading a good book, doing something creative? Notice which companies provide advertisements to support the news, and notice what they are hoping you will buy. The news is not free. While it creates fear and anxiety, it may also be selling you a cure from its advertisers.
When you understand the agenda of news reports, you can stop trusting in them and your anxiety may lessen. We know the Bible teaches that Christians should not be anxious all the time, especially about things they can never solve or never control. Of course, if you are doing something wrong in God's sight and not doing His will according to His Word, then, you will not have peace of mind. That is a legitimate thing to bite your nails over. It is the important to take care of what you can personally take care of, and let God take care of the rest of the world. Most of us can take care of ourselves but are powerless to take care of the rest of the world.
The news never helps me get my kitchen cleaned or a meal prepared.
The Gospel of Christ is the good news; the national news media dispenses the bad news. While the good news is free and has good side effects, the bad news is costly in many ways. Think about how you would choose your food. Would you knowingly eat or drink anything that would give you food poisoning? Of course not. You would prepare the best for your family, and yet, we do not always treat the mind as carefully.
Today, just as in Victorian times, we are in a battle for the mind. Why does the New Testament command to put on "the whole armour of God" including the "helmet" of salvation? It is because in battle, a helmet protects the head. If the enemy can injure the head, the rest of the body will not be able to work very well.
If we allow our minds to be debilitated by all the yellow-journal, rag-reporting, we will give up our creativity and our ambition. With your mind weakened by the news, you can be controlled by the power of pessimism, rather than the holy spirit of the Bible. To overcome such an addiction, we need to substitute a "yes" for a "no" by using news time in different ways. Let it be filled with creativity and achievement. List the things you need to do and would like to do, and pay yourself for not listenning to so much bad news by enjoying some of those other things and living positively.
Most of us have a dozen unfinished creative projects or are behind in hospitality, are behind on our Bible study and other reading, correspondence, and leisure activities-- all these can be substituted for the news habit. If you have children, you need to know how short a time you have to give them " a happy, carefree childhood, free from worry and heavy responsibility." They should not get a steady diet of bad news or have to worry about constant disaster.
We ladies especially need to have clear minds, free from the news propaganda, if our husbands and sons are being innundated with it in their work.
You can finish all those projects you have stashed away in boxes under the bed, or, make a newsy letter about your own life and illustrate it with your own doodles. It is more important than what comes over the wire from API, UPI, ABC, and all the other "alphabet channels." (One wonders why there are so many news channels when the news on each one of them is the same. They are not in competition as much as in sync to discourage everyone.)
I can understand why our Parents, even in the 1950's when education was already quite liberal, monitored our reading material. In those days, our Dad's were very particular about even the comic books we read. They knew the influence of reading for good or for ill. In those days, people would pass boxes of used books and magazines on to other people and they would read them and then pass them on again to another house.
Our parents sorted through the books and sometimes threw some of the magazines and comic books in the fire if they deemed them inapporopriate or if they contained religious error or false teachings. Stories that were "scary" caused nightmares and mental distress, and other reading materials might be banned just for being banal or too foolish or beneath our intelligence. Our Mothers and Fathers were really something in those days, were they not? They knew how important their minds were. I know they listened to the news but the women did not seem to be as personally disturbed by it as women are today.
Getting back to the subject of how much news we can take, the Bible says to love God with all your heart, MIND and soul. Many Christians have no trouble giving the Lord their hearts or their souls, because that sounds so spiritual, but the mind seems more important, intelligent; educational. We often put the mind above the heart and the soul.The mind, however, has to be taken care of, cleansed and rested and given proper "nutrients." The mind has to be guided with good reading, learning and thoughts because it guides the heart and the soul.
We need to guard our minds and our hearts so that we can be fit for our own business: our homes and families. It is very hard to create a happy home when your mind is worried about the news. If you are in the habit of worrying about the news, you may wake up one day and realize your children never knew you as a happy and confident, stable-minded mother. Count how many years of your married life or your child's life that you were in a state of apprehension over the news.
The Bible is the good news. Reading it gives health and life and balance to the mind. Popular news is the bad news most of the time and a diet of it can create depression.
Life is like a vacation that ends too soon. It is just too short to waste time on the always-changing news that will re-play bad memories in your mind. Why not read and listen to God's words that are the same yesterday, today and forever, and have sweet dreams and pleasant thoughts, free from this world's anxiety?
There is so little time to learn and do all the positive things there is to do. There are courses to take and books to read, things to finish -- there is not enough time to do everything you may dream of doing at home. The news may slow you down and defeat your plans.
The news wants you to be addicted to it because it is designed to make you respond in a certain way by protesting something, paying for something, praying for something, etc. It wants you to have its subjects on your mind all the time. The news chooses the subjects for you to think about all day, but if you read God's Word and other pleasant and useful books, or engage in useful study of some skill, you will have something that really feeds your mind with health and life.
Think how different it would be for your mind and ultimately the way you live, if the Bible was your news. If you had Philippians 4:8 running through your mind instead of news, and if you substituted prayer for news (or thoughts of news) you would have a different perspective on life.
ro 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Pro 4:22 For they (My Words) are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh
Pro 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
Sometimes the news is more filthy in subject matter than the soaps or movies, but because it promotes itself as knowledge, it appeals more to the minds of people who admire intellect. The news is not necessary to life and godliness, and you do not get any credit in the end from faithfully reading or listening to it. However, you will store up treasure in heaven when you put the Word of God in your mind. Why not dwell on one of these verses or find one you like, and begin to build up that treasure which give you so much more today and in later years.
How much news should we pay attention to? We may benefit from knowing what is happening in our own town, so the local paper can keep us informed. These things may have a direct effect on us and it helps to keep abreast of local events that to participate in. Local news is more easily verified for accuracy. There are some people who can take any kind of horrible news and it doesn't bother them a bit, but if you are depressed by it, it is not a good idea to include too much of it in your intellectual diet.
*️⃣ It is always reassuring to see the farm trucks loaded with produce driving on the country roads and highways, and the mail-truck delivering mail (including the bills) to the mail box at the end of our little road, as though they are not paying any attention to the news reports of doom and gloom. Apparently, business people expect to have a functional day. As Christians we need to trust that the Lord is active in our lives and that He expects us to do the work and live the role He has given us.
Please do not forget to read this.http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-yellow-journalism-definition-history-examples.html. It shows how two newspaper competitors created yellow journalism, a plague that is still with us today.
Ps. i am very interested in elections and government. I just do not believe the media is honest about it. We have to get information elsewhere.