Zia Hassan

How Much News Is Useless

This morning, I read Mark Manson’s assessment that most news is irrelevant and not actually useful. I’ve long felt this way about most social media posts; that either someone is posting something helpful intentionally, or they are posting something that increases their own status and doesn’t really help anyone but themselves.

I never thought of news as having the same quality, but now that I’ve read Mark’s piece… of course it does.

His recommendation is to find high quality sources of news that cost money. Something I’ve actually longed for with social media as well. Equity is important, and it’s true that many social platforms have given voices to those who were voiceless before. But it’s also created an untenable system of anxiety that I feel is more detrimental than the effect of the problem it solves.

I’d rather pay for a service that allows me to see news that is relevant to me, and posts from friends and family that I really care about (as opposed to the high school friends who I’m curious about never actually see).

With subscription fees, we reduce the need for advertising and “clicks.” We can just enjoy life without being manipulated by the market. But it requires us, as a society, to acknowledge this problem and spend money on a solution (none come to mind just yet). If we can afford phone service, we can afford a social media or news service that actually serves us, rather than a service that makes us the product.