By Christalee Froese
I have a confession to make.
I’ve stopped watching the news completely.
When I tell people this, they often look at me in utter disbelief and launch into a worried line of questioning.
‘How do you know what’s happening?’
‘Don’t you feel out of touch with reality?’
‘Don’t you have to know what’s going on to write?’
The truth is, I feel like I haven’t missed a thing. I stopped watching or listening to any form of news two years ago and so far, I’m perfectly fine. I still get up every morning and put my pants on one leg at a time, I still brush my teeth (usually), eat my wheaties (usually) and drink my cup of coffee (always).
The only thing that has changed significantly is that I’m far less freaked out. In any given news-day cycle you will hear about deaths, murders, plane crashes, bomb threats and terrorist attacks. To ignore the reporting of these events may seem like choosing ignorance and choosing not to care about the plight of human kind. At least that’s what I used to believe.
But I was recently reminded by the lyrics of an ingenious Bare Naked Ladies song that, ‘Odds are that we will probably be all right.’ These enlightened musicians offered some examples: chances of being struck by lightning are less than one in a million, but chances of falling in love by the end of their 3:02 minute song are one in 234.
So, by choosing to ignore the news which focuses its attention on unusually rare and highly unlikely events, I feel like I’m living more closely connected to reality than ever before.
Here are a few of my own personal statistics. The chance of me being murdered in Saskatchewan this year is 1 in 38,000. The chance of me being hugged in my household today are 100 per cent (in fact, I will probably get two or three hugs today, so does that increase my statistics to 200 or 300 per cent? Not sure about the math, I just know that as far as today goes, I probably have to worry a lot more about being hugged than about being murdered).
The chance of my teenage son being recruited by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is about one in a million. The chance of my son coming home and giving me a hug are about one in a million as well. However, the chance of my son coming home and sitting down for supper with the family is 100 per cent tonight. The thought of sitting down for supper with him makes me a lot happier than thinking about that one-in-a-million ISIS scare.
There is a chance, if you watch the news religiously, that a pet will be harmed or that the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) will have to help some unfortunate animal today. However, as far as my dog is concerned, she’s on day number 3,205 of not being harmed or mistreated and odds are that she will probably get a walk, a pet and a dog treat by the end of the day as well. The same can probably said for the majority of pets in my neighbourhood.
So, in light of all of these slanted statistics, I’m thinking of starting my own news network that will be devoted to all of the things in this world that are highly probable on any given day ie. the sun rising, the furnace heating, the groceries being bought and the brownies being eaten.
But then again, that’s not news, that’s real life, and who’s interested in that? I am!
Email Christalee Froese at Lcfroese@sasktel.net or visit 21days2joy.wordpress.com.