Social Question

mazingerz88's avatar

What is the worst that could happen in someone's life if he or she avoids any and all political news for an entire year?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18420 points ) June 22nd, 2012

Would this person end up unfulfilled, unhappy, even miserable maybe? Or better off mentally?

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27 Answers

mattbrowne's avatar

For people who have trouble handling change, they might be better off mentally. There’s a great movie featuring the issue, take a look at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodbye_Lenin!#Plot

Coloma's avatar

I’ve avoided all news and especially politics for over a decade now. There is no “worse”, only positives. I avoid news addicts and political obsessives like the plague. I’d rather talk nature and philosophy, thanks. :-)

mazingerz88's avatar

@Coloma Tempting!

@mattbrowne Thanks. Will check that movie out for sure.

flutherother's avatar

I was struck by something Aung San Suu Kyi said in her speech at the British Parliament yesterday. She said ‘politics isn’t something that exists above us nor is it something below us but it is integral to everyday existence’ You can hear it here at around the 7:00 mark.

JLeslie's avatar

I guess if the whole country did it for a year it would be a problem, but one person here and there? The person himself would probably be better off. Calmer. I know I am hardly watching any politics right now, but I will watch the Presidential debates once they start.

cazzie's avatar

@mattbrowne you get super lurve for referencing that film!

cazzie's avatar

Harmful to yourself? No. A bit irresponsible as a member of the voting public…. perhaps. IMO, it makes a person a bit less interesting when they don’t give a shit about the world around them, though.

If someone gets to the point that they just can’t take it anymore I have this advice:
I think it is smart to limit your sources. Get rid of the cable news networks and stop thinking of that as ‘news’ or ‘journalism’. Turn off all-talk radio. ONLY read and watch more independent news sources. BBC isn’t so bad. I know people accuse NPR as being Leftist, but I think there is some good reporting there. Only look up issues you are interested in. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. In order for a democracy to work and to really honour all those who died defending it, you owe it to them and to those who come after you to take a bit of interest in what is going on.

@Coloma, who is controlling that nature and philosophy? I know you like birds, but I never picked you for an ostrich. ;o) I bet if there was a referendum about privatising or selling off public park land, you would want to know about it, and if you didn’t vote or know a debate was going on, wouldn’t you feel bad you didn’t get involved?

Being part of the human collective MAKES us social animals. We have the developed brains to prove it. Because we are social, we are political. It has become a dirty word, but every body is a political body. If you are an ‘actively disinterested’ political body you are aiding and abetting all those who oppose your personal opinions, values and philosophies.

cookieman's avatar

I wholeheartedly agree with @cazzie‘s answer, but sometimes – just sometimes (for months on end), I just don’t care.

Currently, it’s been about about a year since I followed any news outside of technology news. Nothing bad has happened. The ghost of Walter Cronkite has not teamed-up with Ben Franklin’s ghost to give me a wedgie.

I’ll probably turn back on once the presidential debates get rolling.

Linda_Owl's avatar

To me it would make the person much more vulnerable in dealing with life situations. Trying to ignore politics is tempting, but if you are a voter – you must educate yourself in order to make informed decisions on who will be running our country.

marinelife's avatar

Absolutely nothing except less stress.

bolwerk's avatar

I don’t avoid political news, but I avoid televised news and most political news for major American newspapers (I do read local newspapers, but only for local news). Both are basically propaganda arms of the two-party system, mainly the Republikans. It does make it easier to keep things in perspective when you aren’t bombarded by talking point and slogans all the time, as I haven’t been in almost a decade. The fact that I actually know what words like “liberal,” “conservative,” “libertarian,” “socialist,” etc., mean helps too, I guess. Day-to-day political discourse on TV and in many op-eds uses such terms in ways that border on non-sequitur.

However, avoiding political news entirely is just self-imposed ignorance, which is not something to pat yourself on the back about.

SuperMouse's avatar

The could wake up and find out Mitt Romney has been elected president.

wundayatta's avatar

@Coloma Would you be interested if you found out they were changing the licensing requirements for real estate agents? What if they wanted home presenters to post a $10,000 bond in order to do their work? What if they wanted to pass a law saying that geese had to be kept in pens of a certain size and shape, with access to such and such water, and that they had to be fed foie gras every week? What if they decided to install a sewer line along your road and make you pay to hook up to it? Or if you already have a sewer line, what if they decided to take it off the grid?

Oh all kinds of bad things could happen if you don’t pay attention to politics. But then, all kinds of bad things happen anyway. My children’s school budget is being cut and class size is increasing. They are increasing parking fines. They are going to build an ugly new building in my neighborhood and parking will become harder to find.

On the other hand, they are rebuilding the trolley line, so maybe the road won’t be so bumpy afterwards. It is amazing how quickly it degraded. It’s been twenty years or less since the last time they rebuilt it.

Or were you talking about national politics? Yeah. Who cares about health care. If we lose the health care reform act, millions of people, including many on fluther will lose health insurance. Their older children will lose. There won’t be any affordable insurance. People with cancer and with chronic conditions won’t be able to find affordable insurance. Our friends and neighbors will be back in trouble.

Immigration? Can we find cheap labor? Will friends get deported?

Banking? Will we be able to refinance our mortgages? Buy a new home?

Economy? Will the economy grow? Will there be any new jobs? What will happen to unemployment benefits?

Yeah, you can get along without paying attention to these things. And likely, if something happens you don’t like, you won’t complain or let any politician know how you feel, right? I mean, they don’t pay attention to you, do they? And you won’t join any association because you’re not a joiner and anyway the politicians don’t pay attention to groups any more than they pay attention to individuals.

Whatever happens, your life will go on, for better or for worse. You have no control. No say. You just got to lean over and take it, no matter what. Politics doesn’t really matter.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I avoided all news during the year my husband was deployed. Nothing bad came from it. If anything, it helped me get through the year without constantly worrying about what was going on overseas. If I needed to know something specific, like the weather for example, I just looked that up directly. When it comes to being informed for voting, I do my own research on the candidates instead of listening to what the news says about them.

digitalimpression's avatar

It becomes a problem when everyone ignores politics. The mentality “what difference can little ole me make?” is ignorant and dangerous. Don’t get me wrong.. I’m not suggesting that you fall into this category.

Judi's avatar

My daughter stopped watching any US news and only watches BBC news once a week. (About two years ago.)
She and her husband have decided to sell everything and become missionaries. I wonder if it’s related?

Coloma's avatar

@cazzie
@wundayatta

Well…here we begin the trek out onto the thin ice of individual choice. haha
I am apolitical, and aside from certain issues close to my heart, primarily environmental, I don’t do politics. I did vote to preserve my local state park that was threatened with closure last year but otherwise no, I don’t care, so shoot me. lolol

wundayatta's avatar

@Coloma Not gonna shoot you. But I think you care—about local politics, if not national. Perhaps you get news about local politics in different places. It is true that national news doesn’t cover local, so, to that extent, it might not be very useful to you.

cookieman's avatar

I would actually vote against the gun law that would allow @wundayatta to shoot @Coloma.

Ponderer983's avatar

I’ve pretty much ignored it my whole life. They are all a bunch of liars, so what’s the difference. I only hear stuff because my boss brings it up at work. It’s one area that I really don’t like because they will all say what you want to hear, but once elected, will do what they want. Not worth the stress to get too involved IMO.

Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta Yep, I am discriminating in the causes I support. Each to his own.
@cprevite LOL…why thank you, yeah, IF I voted on the national level I’d back that one too.

I’m more concerned with saving endangered species and humans don’t really qualify.
I belong to “friends of the river” but don’t support friends of sociopathic politicians. lololol

Mariah's avatar

Worst I can imagine is they don’t vote, and then wake up on January 1, 2013 with no healthcare.

It might be a good stress reducer in the short term, but my opinion is that we all have a civic duty to be informed so we can elect good leaders.

Coloma's avatar

@Mariah My view is we should question our programming and the faulty political system.
Being a non-conformist, independent thinking type I don’t subscribe to any “shoulds” or rote protocol without coming to my own conclusions. :-)

Alrighty, I’m violating my own rule now of not discussing politics, time to hoof it on down the trail. ;-)

King_Pariah's avatar

The worst? I’d imagine being called something along the lines of an ignorant bumpkin by rabid liberals and conservatives alike.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think they’d be a lot happier, and there’d be a lot less fighting.

Adagio's avatar

@Ponderer983 While I acknowledge your personal right to bury your head in the sand should you wish, yours is an argument I’ve heard too many times “they’re all a bunch of crooks/liars (or some equivalent)”, personally I think it’s a copout.

@flutherother Many thanks for the video link.

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