Turn Off the News

By Tyler Cohen II Contributing Writer

Breaking news alert: Media inception strikes again! Picture this: Headlines reporting police brutality, race-riots, viral beheadings of philanthropic journalists, and more implied catalysts for impending doom nonchalantly crawl across the lower third of your living room TV screen. Sociological analysis of incompatible stripes yell over each other in a heated debate, which rather than reaching a consensus, will be overexaggerated a week later by another “breaking news” alert telling you to brace yourself, just after you’ve sunk into your living room couch after a long day of work to catch up on the news of the world.

These topics are alerting and deserve media attention, but I think the average American family should exercise caution when watching mainstream news networks and do so in small doses.

I can’t watch any major news network for more than 20 minutes without showing signs of an anxiety disorder diagnosed by psychologists as Phobophobia, which is an irrational fear of phobias.

Psychologists freak me out too; they seem to overthink thinking, which is such a challenging concept for me to grasp that I’d rather think about spiders, and I’m terrified of spiders.

Revolutionary psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud wrote a lot about phobias, and in himself, was a terrifying man. In his 1909 work, Analysis of a Phobia in a Five Year Old Boy (which might as well be that of a fairytale apprehended by a demonic psychopath with the sole, malevolent intention of scaring innocent children), Freud proposed a masculine fear of castration subconsciously present in all uncircumcised men, which occurs when a young boy first perceives circumcision.

In my opinion, Sigmund Freud was a psychopath whose Wikipedia page freaks me out equally as much as today’s news headlines, and I question my own sanity given my insatiable craving to “stay tuned.”

I was originally planning on writing my last editorial of the year on one of those anxiety-inducing headlines, but I don’t think the F&M community needs any more stress, especially with the very real impending finals week.

So, I encourage members of all walks of campus life to turn off the eternally-breaking news and do something you enjoy.

Senior Tyler Cohen is a contributing writer. His email is tcohen@fandm.edu.

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