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N: News

April 17, 2017

When I was in high school, surrounded by a bunch of nerdy kids, I took to quizzing. This meant any free hour we got at school, we’d have a quiz in class, across the rows of benches. Naturally, I would also read the newspapers quite religiously each morning, assimilating bits and pieces of info that was both good to know and would come handy sometime in a future quiz, no doubt. 

Cut to 2017: I don’t read the newspapers. 

Well, at least the news part of it. I might flip through the magazine sections of it – I look out for stories on food, fitness, travel and art and anything else that might be interesting. But that’s about it. No current affairs for me. 
The reason? Most news these days either leaves me angry or sad. So really, why bother? I don’t want constant reminders of what a joke the law and order is in our country.  I don’t want to constantly worry about what it’s gonna be like when my child starts school, I don’t want to read about Trump, I don’t want to read about another refugee crisis. I’m quite happy living in a bubble for now. 

Besides, there’s the other form of writing that’s making its way from online media to the newspapers too. Just putting together a bunch of tweets and calling it an article with an unnecessarily long headline that’s often trying too hard. Or picking up someone’s FB post and then re-writing the gist of it and then calling it an article. Bah. 

It’s amazing how much content is generated these days. Every other day, a new news site or digital content platform vies for more eyeballs. Because, ka-chinng!

Whether it’s ‘re-targeted marketing’ – ads that chase you from site to site or ads that appear like articles, they are everywhere. Worst of all is the 1-1.5 page ads (usually real estate) that have relegated news to the second or even third page of the newspaper these days. Like S remarked, it was amazing that the day after the demonetization was announced, the newspapers that morning had no news on the front page – just some big advertisement as usual. 

The charm of newspapers, the need to keep myself ‘up-to-date’ has worn off over the years. No FOMO here thankfully. A 15-year-old me would be disappointed perhaps. Hopefully, someday I’ll get back to reading the news. But for now, no news is good news. 

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