Recently, I started working out again. This is a good thing because I am always a happier, more well-balanced person when I work out. Furthermore, there's a tv in the weightroom, so I can watch re-runs of Star Trek and Seinfeld (my two favorite tv shows other than American Idol). When I went to the weightroom yesterday, someone had preempted me. She was there, walking on my favorite treadmill. The tv was on and she was watching CNN. Needless to say my light workout was depressing and boring. It has been ages since I took the time to watch the news. In fact, I can honestly say that I watch the news only when I am on a trip away from home and in an airport. At all other times I read the news online.
Today I came across an article that made me remember why I started the practice of reading the news online. Or at least part of the reason. It's the photos. Ever since I was a kid I have not enjoyed watching graphic violence or seeing images of death and destruction. Occasionally, these photos can serve as a grim reminder of the darkness in the world. I would not want to ignore them. Nor would I want to fill my head with them. I prefer movies where the main violence is politely off camera. If it's not, I likely will not watch the movie more than once every 2 or 3 years. I probably will not ever watch The Passion of The Christ again. With news, I can remember a time when the broadcasters warned us that they were going to show pictures displaying the remains of extreme violence. They let people know to get their kids out of the room. Not so any longer. By reading the news, I avoid the disturbing photo and video footage. I can skip some descriptions if I want. Honestly, I think the more these pictures and descriptions have been shown the more I have learned to shy away from them. If it was only once in a while I would not care. But it's as if news organizations feel like they're not getting the basic idea of death and destruction through to us. Instead they have to turn us into manic depressives.
My other reason for reading the news it that I can be more analytical while reading and I get a broader story with more depth. The television gives soundbytes and never tells the entire story. By reading many different articles on a subject I find I can learn more of what happened and construct my own opinion from hearing more than one take. Besides that, reading improves the mind. If you read good journalists you might even learn a new word or two.
When you're tired of watching people cry and die, there's just no better way than reading.