Sarah Grace Goolden
Keeping yourself updated on current events is an integral part of being a well-rounded and educated person, which most strive to be. Whether it be politics or scientific accomplishments, information is being presented to us nonstop in our current age. One cannot even catch their breath without breaking news flooding their timelines and blowing up their phone. Of course, it is never a bad thing to be informed, but it can be incredibly exhausting.
Unfortunately, a lot of news can be depressing. When you turn on the TV, there is a constant bombardment of murder and starving children. Our government is divided, and seems to always be bickering like children. While we squabble over imaginary lines and rules, the very Earth we are standing on is threatened by global warming. That may engender a bit of anxiety.
Of course, it is better to be informed and anxious than ignorant, but it sure doesn’t feel like that sometimes. That’s where soft news can come in handy to lighten the mood a little bit.
Soft news has become the butt of the joke. News reporters transition to a story about puppies right after detailing a brutal homicide. TV shows that revolve around actresses and artists are seen as vapid. Basically any news that is not going in depth into the horrors of the world are disregarded and seen as unimportant. However, I think soft news does something very valuable for human beings. Individually and collectively, it gives us a break.
As much as we want to pretend we’re okay with being steadily slapped with the heart-wrenching atrocities of war and human corruption, it is very much okay to admit we are not. To put it simply, keeping up with the news is depressing and mentally taxing. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to hear about people being kind to each other. It makes the bad stuff a little more bearable.
There are a lot of good people in the world. Kindness occurs everyday and beautiful things exist. It is easy to forget that in a world overstimulated with panic and hate. It is not a bad thing to remember that not everyone is evil. What better way than reading about Candice Payne, a woman renting hotels for Chicago’s homeless? Doesn’t everyone feel better after reading about a dog that was supposed to be euthanized finding its forever home? Even seemingly frivolous stories can warm your heart a little bit and that in and of itself is important.
What we need is news that makes us laugh, feel uplifted or just gets our mind off the atrocities around us. There is even a word for this feeling of emotional exhaustion. Bad-news Burnout occurs when one is so overloaded with disheartening news that they have trouble even caring anymore. “Compassion fatigue” can lead to abandoning media altogether, because it is associated with sadness. Instead of overwhelming ourselves with death and despair constantly, I think we would all benefit from a little feelgoodery.