The gym I visit is an institution in Melbourne, and although it is ‘old school’ in many ways (it smells of sweat, which there is no effort to hide), it has succumbed to installing television screens everywhere.
So as someone who is highly sensitive to the media I let into my world, twice a week I put myself in the firing range of daily news media and within the first 15 mins of waking up I am bombarded with murder, rape, war, car crashes, corruption, abuse, house fires.
On that last one, why is it necessary for me to know that a house burnt down in Queensland? I am not talking about bushfires, I mean a singular house. Now that I know, what am I supposed to do with that news? Be fearful my house will burn down?
Just last week I turned away from a video on boomerang repeat (a video trick of repeating the same move) of a man violently assaulting another man. It just kept playing on a loop again and again on a major news channel. Why?
I will never underestimate the power the media has on me and the way it affects me.
As a child, I watched the movie Jaws when I was eight years old. I would not feel safe in the water until I was 26 years old.
As a teenager, I became obsessed with American TV movies in which children would be kidnapped. It was not until my husband challenged me one day (when I was trying to organise our new home so that we would hear the kidnappers come in #truth that I realised the impact that watching those movies had had on me.
I used to collect horror movies as a young adult; I had over a 100 of them. I did not think they impacted me until I first started going camping. I did not stop being afraid of the dark until I was forty-two years old.
Of course, I know that horrific things happen in the world.
Of course, I know that human beings do terrible things to each other and for each other.
Of course, I know that.
But I also know that continual input of trauma and violence does not make me a better-informed person; it makes me fearful, closed-minded, judgemental and disconnected.
I grew up believing that the world was a bad place, where good things sometimes happen, and it has taken many years to shift that. It takes a lot of one’s life energy to live in constant ‘perceived fear’.
My husband and I have tried our hardest to raise our children to believe that the world is a good place, where bad things sometimes happen.
Some people love the news; they feel it adds to their experience of life.
I am not one of those people. I have to be very careful what I let in, because I know I am not immune to the impact.
How about you?
I would love to hear what your relationship is to the reporting of negative news events and how you navigate this for yourself and your family.
For some positive content, I invite you to my first live event of 2018!
In conversation with Kemi and Julie on May 3 in Melbourne.
Early-bird tickets are $59 (+ booking fee) and are selling fast!!
Everything else you need to know is right here
Wishing you a weekend where the beauty of the world brings tears to your eyes and warmth to your heart. xxx