Rethinking The News Intake Cycle

Why day old news may be better for you

Today we live in a two-hour news cycle environment. It’s exhausting, not only for those charged with gathering and reporting the news, but more for us that consume the news. Overload is inevitable, leading to accepting the unacceptable as normal behavior.

Bombarded by the likes of FOX, MSNBC, and the social media channels — Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube — we can find little respite to gather our thoughts and make informed decisions as to what is credible content and the effect it has on us.

Slowing down our news intake cycle

However, there is a solution. Stop, put down the cell phone, tablet or laptop, take a deep breath, exhale, resist the impulse to push the app button. When you do this, you have thrown a wrench into the inner-workings of 24-hour broadcast news and social media channels.

Instant gratification via the above-mentioned channels and networks is a programmed and anticipated response to a need to be constantly in the know and share the data gleaned with the groups we associate with.

For example, each of the social media platforms is programmed by artificial intelligence to ping us, through email or text, to keep checking our feeds for the latest post or comment. This action leads to more people online, leading to more information collected, which triggers display advertising for viewing selected by predictive algorithms based on our online behavior.

The news and social media networks want to keep us engaged because the more we spend our time with them, the more advertising they sell.

Because we are served up our news feeds by predictive AI — whose mission is to feed our primal lizard brain instincts — more controversial post and feeds are brought to our attention. This can create a slanted perspective because of our intense quest to gather more content in order to be in the know.

Once we understand that the shiny app icon is actually an attempt by AI to manipulate our actions, then we can break the Pavlov’s Dog cycle of constantly checking our personal devices for content that may or may not be in our best interest.

Denied the time to rationally think about a subject leads to a one-sided perspective based on whoever presents it, without the benefit of professional analysis and fact checking.

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