Even worse, when we allow ourselves to get upset or angry, we are no longer in control. The Stoic philosopher Epictetus reminds us that "Whoever is capable of angering you becomes your master." We can either master our response to information in the media, or allow it to take control of us via our emotions.
I'm a big fan of Lenon Honor and his work on positive relationships and raising emotionally healthy families. While listening to his channel on Youtube, I was struck by the Stoic overtones in this video (embedded below) and the similarities to my media series, especially 4 Pieces of Stoic Wisdom for Dealing With Negative News Media. While I wouldn't call him a Stoic, Lenon certainly has some philosophical things to say. Technically the video is about race, but overall it's about emotions and dealing with negative media and the subject matter is relevant to everyone. Give it watch!
- Most media reports are irrelevant to your life.
- There are some challanges that you can't escape, but you don't have to subject yourself to every negative media report. Your quality of life will be better if you filter your exposure to media because you will conserve more energy for self-improvement.
- The media tend to push socially divisive issues like race, religion and sexual orientation.
- Don't get angry over information in the news; you'll allow it to master you and perhaps even let it modify your behavior [a known goal of propaganda].
- Outrage over various events is often inauthentic and based on the current news cycle. Most people didn't care about a particular issue before it was in the media, and will have completeley forgotten about it a few months later.
- Proper intellectual process involves asking who, what, where, why, when, and how. And if you can reliably verify that the information is true to begin with.
- It's important to become the best person that you can be, not to focus on divisive and negative media.