These past few days I've been doing something that I very rarely do- watching the news. Now I come from a family that watched the news religiously. You best believe that when 5 o'clock rolled around whatever tv show or movie were watching got turned off in favor in of watching the local news followed by Inside Edition then followed by the CBS Evening News show. This was our routine Monday through Friday week after week.
As child watching the news didn't bother me as much because while there was some bad or negative stuff for the most part the 90s was a happy time. There wasn't quite as much foolishness going down. But as we crept closer to and entered the 2000s, it seems like our country as a whole just started to decline. People now days are no longer concerned with treating each other with respect or showing kindness.
So gradually I stopped watching the news in high school. And in college I stopped completely. I recently started back to keep track of all the Hurricane Sandy news and then somehow got sucked into watching our local news. Well, I was watching the news last night and Moo was still up watching with me. And there was just one negative story after the other.
After a few minutes, the reporter started talking about a recent string of robberies where residents are actually getting robbed in broad daylight in their driveways by teens and young adults armed with baseball bats and guns. I didn't think that Moo was really listening because she had some toys she was tinkering with. But then she asked me "Mommy why are the bad people doing that to them?" I wasn't sure what to say. I mean how do you explain to an almost four year old the wickedness and evil that now seems to fuel and consume our communities?
After that, I ended up changing the channel because honestly now that I know she understands what's being reported, I don't want her exposed to such negativity. She's a kid and needs to be worried about making friends, playing with dolls and enjoying her cartoons. Sometimes exposing kids to adult issues too soon makes them grow up before their time. They become worry warts way before they need to be. Trust me, I know.
Secondly, after watching one bad story after the other with nothing positive to balance it all out, I was starting to get depressed. Therefore, needless to say I'll be going back to my usual routine of avoiding the news. I'd rather catch a 140 character news tweet. At the end of the day, I truly believe that if news channels balanced out the negative stuff they reported with positive news stories from the community people would strive to do better. It's just a fact that when you have more positive energy and positive thoughts being stimulated you tend to be a more positive person. And positive people do positive things.
Do you watch the news? Are your kids allowed to watch the news too?