I normally listen to a local AM station on the drive to work in the mornings, so I can get traffic updates. This morning, though, I grew irritated with a combination of irritating commercials and hearing the same story for the third or fourth time, and so I changed over to NPR, which is not something I often listen to.

 

I was amused that the first story that came on after I switched was a story about how the news can cause stress. I'm not certain if this qualifies as irony, but I think it's at least in the same neighborhood.

 

The story was about how people who basically immerse themselves in breaking news can suffer increased stress, with some experiencing symptoms similar to PTSD. The main danger comes from seeing video of a horrific incident again and again and again and again. The researches found that people viewing the news like this would sometimes report higher stress levels than people who were actually involved in the event itself.

 

What's the remedy? Don't get caught up in the non-stop 24 hour news cycle that's so prevalent today. Watch, read, listen, consume the news and stay informed, but once you have the gist of what's going on, step away from it. Once upon a time, we had to wait weeks or more for news of important events to reach us, and society survived just fine. We don't have to know the latest, up to the minute breaking news.