Ignorance is bliss. Watching media coverage of a terrorist attack increases emotional pain. Most obvious lesson: spend less time watching TV news reports of terrorist attacks. But I think there's an important larger lesson: manage your media intake with an eye toward managing your emotional state.
BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL --July 2, 2012 – "Exposure to media coverage of terrorist missile attacks increases pain levels in people already suffering from chronic pain," according to a new study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers.
"Does War Hurt? Effects of Media Exposure After Missile Attacks on Chronic Pain," published in the online version of the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, showed that exposure to the attacks through the media predicted an increase in pain intensity and in the sensory component of pain during the pre-post war period, but did not predict depression or anxiety.
Ease of access to media has increased the advantages to be had by managing your exposures to media. Your emotional and intellectual state can become too impacted by distant events that don't even educate you about larger important trends in the world. emotional state by selecting your exposures to media becomes more important as media reports become more immediate. When wireless and cellular high speed connections become even faster and cheaper and tablets or video head gear make it easy to watch media everywhere we need to step back and turn off the constant flow.
What I want: Better ability to block stories and types of stories. For example, I'd love to have the ability to tell Google News and news sites "show me no stories that mention Joe Paterno". I don't want to know. Ditto for some politician on trial for using campaign money on his mistress. This isn't due to a general apathy on my part. I've got a voracious appetite for many types of news and can not find enough time to read on subjects that interest me. So all the more need to block out whatever passing topic the masses are obsessing about.
Since I do not watch TV the lack of filters on TV news shows does not present a problem for me. But the online news sites are failing to address the demand for fine grained subject blocking. Would you use this feature if it was available?