John Kary

Looking at some generic news aggregate site, it seems there's a lot of important things going on in the news. Some radical pastor wants to burn Korans. Huge fires are engulfing a San Francisco neighborhood. "Evil" zombies are now back. In 3D.

Does any of that really affect you? No, really… does it?

NO! And if you think it does, it doesn't. Want proof?

Before reading any news article today, insert "Who cares if…" in front of the headline.

Who cares if some radical pastor wants to burn Korans?
Who cares if huge fires are engulfing a San Francisco neighborhood? (OK, unless you have family in the neighborhood.) Who cares if there's another meaningless evil zombie movie, now in 3D?

Who cares? Not me, and not you.

We're fed this junk news because the news companies NEED something to cover. If they don't cover SOMETHING they're sending out dead air, or blank newspapers, or a news junkie's cryptonite: re-runs.

It's not just national and local news networks and newspapers. It's all over our digital life too.

Look at your RSS Feed (if you even still use one.) Your Twitter feed. Your Facebook feed. How many of those stories do you actually read? How many do you actually care about? You probably don't even have enough time to keep up with it all.

People follow this junk news so they can keep up on current events, or have something to talk about at the water cooler, or chat up acquaintances at awkward dinners and family get togethers. People get a sense of pride from knowing "what's going on in the world!"

Some people get satisfaction relaying the newest news message to someone else. Or being the first to know something among their friends. It actually validates their news obsession and gives them a sense of being "in the know."

We're so bent on crowdsourcing things these days… how about crowdsource your news reading?

Let everyone else keep up on news for you. Let them tell you about it over lunch or a drink. This will not only free you up for more important things, but reaffirm your friend's need to feel important for catching you up on the big story.

So purge your RSS feed. Stop following Tech Crunch, Gizmodo, Engadget and Apple News. 95% of their stories don't matter anyway.

Unfollow all but a subset of your Twitter crew. Focus on the ones putting out meaningful content and not just noise.

Unfriend all those acquaintances and old high school friends on Facebook. Or stop logging in so often, or close your account all together. Take a friend out to lunch if you want to catch up on what they've been doing instead of passively taking in their life.

If something big is happening, let someone else tell you about it. Then ask yourself, who cares? It won't be you.

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