In London there are two papers that circulate daily on public transport – the Metro for the morning commute and the Evening Standard for the return journey home. They are both free and read by millions of people. I haven’t opened either of them for at least a year and I am never tempted to, no matter how enticing the headline or pretty the cover photo (Kate Middleton – girl crush).
There are two reasons that I don’t read these papers and have no desire to. The first being that they can be incredibly exaggerated. I saw this when they recounted the details of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake that devastated New Zealand. As I was keeping up to date with the facts through the NZ Herald website, I could see clearly that the London papers were loosely throwing words and numbers around to make catchy headlines. This made me irate.
The other thing I find hard to stomach is how totally depressing they are. One day I read that in one week alone, four people had jumped under trains to end their lives. It was in a tiny box at the back of the paper and I imagine not many people would have taken much notice, as it’s a common occurrence in London. For the rest of the day my heart was heavy for these people that desperately wanted to die and had succeeded. For their families.
I am incredibly impressionable and a seeker of the truth. This is precisely why tabloid newspapers, trashy magazines and gossip sites do not bode well with me; because I cannot take the words as truth. It’s merely hearsay. For factual accounts and reporting on current events, I watch the TV news or read the BBC news website. I prefer to spend my commute reading a novel or listening to music. Occasionally there is a positive news story that brightens our days, but it’s more often a negative dictation of the world we live in. I simply do not want to start my day with bad news, not ever.
When I gave my life to God, I stepped into the light and committed to a life of truth. To telling the truth and living the truth. I haven’t done either of those perfectly since and I will stuff it up again in the future. Why? Because I’m a human and sometimes, I want to hide from the truth. The truth is hard but it is also how we find freedom and growth.
The media of this world don’t believe that.They believe in getting unflattering pictures of celebrities, making money and glorifying gossip. And if current events tells us anything, it’s that the future is hopeless. I believe something different; that there is hope in this broken and dying world and that it doesn’t end here. If we look only at politics, poverty, the economy, human condition and the earth’s lack of sustainability, we’re all doomed. That’s what the news tells us. I am realistic yet hopeful for what is unseen.
I hear so many people say “sometimes I just want to switch off and read trash! I don’t want to think too hard”. Everyone is different and I am particularly sensitive, I’m aware of that so I do what works for me. However, I think that there is no harm in guarding our minds. Consider today; what are you reading, who are you watching, what are you thinking about during the day? We are influenced and can be easily swayed.
I’m hopelessly hopeful and a lover of the truth, and that’s why I don’t read the newspapers.
Do you read newspapers? What do you think of the media that we read? Share your thoughts in the comments.