TLDR: News is mostly negative, and increasingly visual and shocking. Your brain is wired to prioritize threat detections, news outlets (including social media) take advantage of that to gain your attention. Consuming it regularly adds to your stress but not, really, to your ability to do anything about the perceived threats and is bad for your mental health.
I’m largely news free for about 2 weeks now. I’ve been TV news/ Radio news free for years. Most of my “news” came from accidental osmosis in friend’s social media timelines and as I searched for things to read that were actually interesting to me.
The basic problem with “news” is that it’s not really correct information – it’s designed to grab your attention, to wrap around the ad in the timeline or somewhere below the clickbait title. In many cases it’s flat out propaganda designed to organize you as the political class wants.
Hop off. You aren’t really “informed” by reading it. You are definitely stressed by it. And what can you do about what you read? Absolutely nothing. Which adds to the stress.
Put it down. Don’t click.
Instead… Read blogs that interest you. Listen to podcasts. Read books. Take the dog for a walk. Talk to whoever is in the room, or across the table, from you.
Take back your attention.