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“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.” ― John Lennon

As we enter the general election season, I’ve decided that I have had enough.

Too many sound bites, too much hysteria, and too little deep discussion of complex issues is as bad for me as too much sugar. The 24-hour news cycle has overloaded my head, like Twinkies once overloaded my stomach. Both are so empty. They only leave me unsatisfied.

Twinkies were not trying to teach me to share when, as a kid, they sold me two golden sponge cakes with a creamy filling in each package. The Hostess people just wanted to hook me on sugar and keep me buying their product.

"Okay, hold that cogent legal point until we're back from commercial."I get that. I also get that CNN, FOX, and the others just want to keep me tuned in as they announce BREAKING NEWS as a tease, only to cut away to commercials, forcing me to keep my eyes on the ads and my butt anchored to the chair.

I am not mad at Hostess Brands or Turner Broadcasting System and Fox Entertainment Group. They are just running a business, trying to attract more consumers. I am mad at myself and my mindless consumption. I am mad that I keep falling into their simple trap – a trap I should see from miles away.

We all know, I hope, the problems with extra sugar – obesity, diabetes, heart failure and more. The sugar to blame is the sugar added by the scientists in the lab at the factory. It’s the EXTRA sugar that makes the product both unhealthy and terribly addictive.

The sugar we need in our diet happens naturally in the foods we should eat. It’s the simple sugar in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains that our bodies’ need.

Today’s 24-Hour News is the new sugar and I refuse to be a mindless addict! I am turning my back on this BREAKING NEWS addiction.

I will be more productive, more active and have less stress and anxiety. I am convinced I will be healthier in every way.

The payoffs for me in turning off 24-hour news will be the same as those I gained from my New Year’s Resolution of no more stuff. I’ll be getting more time, more experiences, more growth, more contentment, and more freedom. After all, those are what I really want in my life.

Of course, I am not going to stick my head in the sand and pretend that the rest of the world doesn’t exist. I want to know what is going on, but I intend to get my information from sources that encourage me to do my own thinking. I won’t have the news stuffed in my face anymore, the way Twinkies stuffed me with their golden sponge cakes.

The world needs responsible journalism – now more than ever. What the world doesn’t need is more hype, more sensory sugar, to stress me out and make me fat and lazy.

How about you, where do you get your news? Is it all from the same TV station or do you switch around? Do different stations report the same story differently? Why do you think that is?

How do you explain the value of reading longer newspaper and magazine articles that go deeper into the issues and give you time for uninterrupted concentration on the subject?

What could you do with the extra time if you didn’t watch so much TV news?

As always, the conversation starts here.

“In the ordinary choices of every day we begin to change the direction of our lives.” – Eknath Easwaran

Epilogue

Ever wonder how the 24 hour news channels collect all the “news” they send our way? Is it like the scientist in the lab at the food factory, adding just one more toxic chemical? Take a look.