Escaping the 24 Hour News Cycle

Eleven minutes ago the clock ticked past midnight. It’s officially Monday now, but I’m going to go on pretending it’s Sunday at least until I fall asleep.

We went out for dinner yesterday evening - the first “proper” meal out with family since the pandemic began. My in-laws came over and we walked into town together - eating at the pub where our middle daughter now works. It was great to see the place filled with people after so many months empty - although the conversation happening on a nearby table was one of those conversations you wish you couldn’t hear. I think some people just like the sound of their own voice.

While reading the various accounts of “normal life” shared by friends around the world via the internet, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the UK is quite a long way ahead of many countries now in terms of dealing with the pandemic, and emerging from the other side. We’re not out of the woods yet, but the vast majority of people have been double vaccinated so their chances of being hospitalised are reduced enormously.

I saw some official statistics recently that of the people admitted to hospital with coronavirus, 97% were not vaccinated. I just wish more people would stop believing the various social media mouthpieces they subscribe to, and start reading and listening to professional journalists working for national or international news agencies. A huge proportion of people seem to seek out the news that best fits their world view - and then the social graph kicks in, presenting them with concordant views. Little by little their views match the increasingly narrow, marginalised, and extreme content they are subjected to - which only gets worse, because that’s all they ever consume.

I’ve always been something of a fence sitter. My default position tends to be “there’s probably more to a story than most people have bothered to find out”- and I purposely browse a variety of news sources as a result. Perhaps the most frustrating observation is that it tends to be older people - those we are traditionally expected to respect and defer to - that have become the most easily radicalised by social media.


Tomorrow is another day. Before it arrives I’m going to sit in bed and read for a while. It turns out books are a very good escape from the twenty four hour social media news cycle.