The Low Information Diet

January 10, 2011

Thirty years ago I was eavesdropping and overheard one grownup explaining to another grownup something I’ll never forget.

He’d arrived at work one morning and realized he was in the most foul mood. He was downright angry! In fact, he said, this feeling wasn’t new! He arrived at work upset every single day. What’s worse is he realized that he had been “sharing” his anger with others; taking his bad mood out on those around him.

From that moment he started trying to figure out the cause of his bad mood. What was causing his nastiness? After much thought, the best he could come up with was the daily news. He listened to the news in the car on his ride into work every morning. Could that be it? He decided to test his theory.

Sure enough, after a week of no news he was a new man. He would arrive at the office in a great mood. Over time he even caught himself smiling at folks in the office as they passed in the hall.

This is a true story. One I look back on when my decision to go on a Low Information Diet is questioned. Won’t I miss something important? Well, define important. If it’s truly important folks will let you know. If it’s really important you can ask your friends (or the cashier at the grocery for that matter) what’s new in the world and they’ll gladly tell you.

Now, to be clear, we’re talking about a “Low” not “No” Information Diet here. Make no mistake, I keep myself informed on the big issues. Especially when it’s time to vote. In the meantime, I keep to my strict Low Information Diet and suggest that I am a happier, and probably healthier, person for so doing.

In conclusion, if you find yourself angry (or sad, depressed, worried) and you’re like that most (or some, any, all) of the time, especially if you find yourself taking it out on others, be it directly or indirectly, take stock and consider putting yourself on the Low Information Diet. Believe me, the world will keep on turning, and your friends and family may even thank you.

2 Responses to “The Low Information Diet”

  1. Linz said

    This is so true!!!!! We don’t have cable, haven’t for years, and i tried not to watch the news or listen to it much when hubby was deployed to Iraq. I think I’ve been on this diet too and didn’t even know it!! LOL Awesome blog, thanks Owen!

    • owenwbrown said

      Hey, AZTALLCHICK. I wrote this last week, before the Tucson nightmare. I followed that story off and on the day of as the details came in about the victims. Then I let it go. I don’t know much about the shooter or his motivation but I’m betting overconsumption was at least a contributing cause to his breakdown. On a lighter note, I’m impressed with your not having cable. I like television way too much. I should consider quitting someday. Not today however lol.

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