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Media Diet Fridays

November 05, 2021
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I’m going to post about “media diet and hygiene” regularly because I have seen a real need in my community. As the world has become orders of magnitude more complex, it has become impossible to keep up with all the developments that will, or might, affect us. As the social systems have become more complex, our individual survival is more tightly tied together with others than ever before. We are also not “built” for this – our minds are struggling with the onslaught of information that does not include immediate physical responses. We’ve become uncomfortably aware that we do not captain our own fates nearly to the level we want, and that often leads quickly to anger – often anger we can’t source, or for which to have a healthy outlet. I’m going to do some research before stating it as fact, but it is my assertion that we are short-circuiting to anger faster. I’m also going to assert that the amount of anger and stress we feel cannot have good long-term outcomes.

With all that said, the information sources we choose to engage and accept is highly important, both for making good decisions and for mental health. So I’m sharing this chart:

 

I want to address the reasons for this chart in a moment, but let me start with this: can you go back a few moments and remember what you felt when you first looked at this chart? Did you feel pride at your choices? Did you feel angry at how your choices were rated? At the beginning of the week, I posted about “cognitive dissonance” – did this chart confirm your prior information? Or did you find yourself discounting this chart because your favored sources aren’t valued here as much as you value them? We’re putting our education to work here!

Let me also note that it is interesting that the general shape of the information – sources more concerned with fact reporting tend to be less biased, while analysis of those facts quickly breaks along political/social lines.

Let me also say that I’m less interested in how specifically correct the chart is, and more for these two points: are you able to use the vertical axis to help you filter the information you receive and how much weight you should put to things you hear/read/see, and can you find some additional sources that may help your informational diet be more balanced and healthier overall?

To make good financial decisions, we need good information, good systems with which to process and decide based on that information, and balanced, clean emotions. When we react from fear or anger, it becomes significantly harder to make those good decisions. It is my one, focused hope to help you make better decisions and live a more fulfilled life. I hope this helps. Thanks for reading.

 

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