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Protecting One's Mental Health When Monitoring News Outlets and Social Media

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    Protecting One's Mental Health When Monitoring News Outlets and Social Media

    The WHO put out some advice recently that people with a susceptibility to depression and anxiety should limit their checking of news and social media to a couple of visits a day, specifically with regard to the Coronavirus. Trying to keep track of every scrap of news just creates greater anxiety.

    3. Minimize watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information only from trusted sources and mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Get the facts; not the rumors and misinformation. Gather information at regular intervals, from WHO website and local health authorities platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumors. Facts can help to minimize fears.
    https://www.who.int/docs/default-sou...iderations.pdf

    I definitely see the logic of this and would trace it to 2016, when tracking the disasters of that year caused me a great deal of distress by mid-November. However, I also feel that depriving myself of news and virtual interaction, especially now I'm self-isolating through necessity, would not help me sleep any better and might actually increase uncertainty and thus more tension.

    What is the best way to handle this?

    #2
    "The news" has always been mostly bad news. I don't think you'd be depriving yourself by limiting your intake to reading a newspaper once a day. Strictly speaking you don't need more than that. Most of "the media" seems to be people disagreeing with and hating on each other. Definitely limit that.

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      #3
      I think reading one newspaper a day is still too much. It's not like you'll be reading any match reports any time soon and if you just buy one to do the crossword, there's plenty of alternatives.

      The only rational explanation for buying the rags right now is if some selfish git's hoarded all the bog roll.

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        #4
        I'm always amazed when I find out that someone buys a newspaper.

        Apart from deprecating the title case, I'm all in for this thread. Except I need to know everything, always.

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          #5
          I buy newspapers from time to time. Anyone else?

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            #6
            The Sunday Telegraph is cheaper than bog roll, pound for pound

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              #7
              *raises paw*

              We also have the New York Times delivered every morning

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                #8
                I think news and information have now become entirely separate entities. If you go to any media outlet now, even previously reliable sources like the BBC, what you are getting is propaganda, opinion, speculation, re-interpretation, gossip and general tittle-tattle, little of which can be described as information. Even journos who should be serious commentators like Peston and Keunssberg are merely spokespersons for "number 10 sources". If you want information then avoid media at all costs.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by TonTon View Post
                  I'm always amazed when I find out that someone buys a newspaper.

                  Apart from deprecating the title case, I'm all in for this thread. Except I need to know everything, always.
                  I get the Sunday Mercury (Midlands based local Sunday rag) and the Non-League paper. I used to get the i, but that was seven or eight years ago.

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                    #10
                    I didn't necessarily mean buying a paper rag. Websites are fine....

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                      #11
                      I do miss the days before the internet when I'd read the NYT in the coffee shop before work. I know that's still possible but.

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                        #12
                        here's what seems pretty good advice on protecting mental health during a pandemic

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                          #13
                          My father buys The Guardian every day, and The Observer on Sundays. I think it's for the walk to the corner shop as much as anything.

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                            #14
                            I woke up early and couldn't get back asleep this morning with worry about this whole thing, once I was up and about I was fine, and able to get some perspective on everything. So long as I can still work, my life won't change that much, I don't go out on Monday to Friday anyway, and I could do with cutting down my weekend drinking, which will help my general health.

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                              #15
                              I'm more concerned that I'm starting to see all the news through a Covid-19 lens. Headlines about "problems at the border" that are actually about refugees from a war, or "government crackdown" somewhere, but not about self-isolation, just the age-old human rights issues. The other stuff hasn't gone away, even if some events like big protest marches are going to be thin on the ground.

                              To borrow from Jo Moore, it's a good month (year?) to bury bad news.
                              Last edited by tee rex; 15-03-2020, 16:21. Reason: not Anji Hunter

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                                #16
                                Thanks Nef.

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                                  #17
                                  I’m struggling with this. It’s not so much that I want to know what is going on as that I want to feel “connected.” It’s not helping

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                                    #18
                                    Well, connected to OTF is something at least?

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                                      #19
                                      I knew Jo Moore.

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                                        #20
                                        Feeling connected is good but my wife wants me only to go on the web about twice a day (maybe 30 minutes each time max) and I think that's good advice. However, if I were living alone, I think I would need longer. Loneliness is going to be a big issue during this crisis. I don't think, as a married man, I can lecture people living in solitude how to act or feel.

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                                          #21
                                          Do not have a Twitter account. I think everything else is fairly manageable, but Twitter does melt your brain in a very distinct way. I think it's the endless amount of takes on every little thing.

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                                            #22
                                            I have Twitter but it is largely write-only for me. It was Facebook that was absolutely doing my head in.

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                                              #23
                                              Originally posted by Sits View Post
                                              Well, connected to OTF is something at least?
                                              Yes it is, and I am grateful.

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                                                Feeling connected is good but my wife wants me only to go on the web about twice a day (maybe 30 minutes each time max) and I think that's good advice. However, if I were living alone, I think I would need longer. Loneliness is going to be a big issue during this crisis. I don't think, as a married man, I can lecture people living in solitude how to act or feel.
                                                Speaking as both a single man and someone who was medically isolated for five months a few years ago, here's my insight. Go on OTF. A lot. Quite frankly, the Mundane Thread and the Xpert 11 thread may very well have kept me sane at times during that incarceration. I don't really do social media, and my friends do even less, so at times the only way I knew people cared was on here. And in between times I got to read about bad food opinions and bad shoe choices.

                                                Obviously in this case there weren't hourly updates on what was going on to upset me - I actually had the opposite problem, where no one wanted to tell me what was going on - so I can't help on that score, but I know that the worst thing for me was not knowing when it would all be over, and that is the same thing here. My advice would be to select a random but achievable time chunk (a week?) and say, right, I'm not going out before next Monday. I've got food, I've got drink, I've got baccy, my electricity key is charged, I'm not going out till Monday, I just have to accept that. Then don't allow yourself to think any further into the future until Monday is reached, you can assess your situation, and if necessary, repeat. Thinking "I could be here for months!!!" is definitely not going to help.

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                                                  #25
                                                  The thing that I've been doing recently is turning all notifications off, whether they be on laptop or phone. Nothing needs to be read immediately or responded to straightaway. So no live blogs, no minute by minutes. Flick the Graun on in the morning, C4 news in the evening and that will do fine.

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