Read the newspaper, start the day with a smile

February 9, 2013

Awhile back, my “technically connected daughter” mentioned she thought reading the newspaper was so old fashioned.

I quickly informed her of my theory. It’s a quieter way to get news; the truthful version of what is really going on.

Now I’ve discovered I’ve been included in a survey and declared a happier person by “survey takers” because I read the newspaper. Well, I sort of knew I was happy, my friends tell me so, plus my husband will sometimes say to me, although it’s usually in a sarcastic tone, “Are you happy now?” My reply is always, “Yes.”

Anyhow, those survey people have finished a nationwide study on the happiness level of TV news watchers vs. newspaper readers.

Guess what?

Newspaper readers are the happier group. Don’t ask me why someone decided to find out this information, or why it was important, I have no idea. Perhaps it has something to do with the availability of news on the Internet, large newspapers merging or closing all together, or they may have been curious to find out what kind of people, in today’s technical world, are happily reading newspapers.

If they would have personally asked me why I read a newspaper instead of relying on the TV for news, I could have told them.

I’ve been reading the paper since I was a kid and have no plans to quit. My parents read the paper every morning at the breakfast table and included the children in the conversations, which were an education in itself, by engaging us in debates. There was laughter, arguments and personal opinions, especially the social page, and who was doing what and to whom, in the town and the county. Even obituaries and comics were discussed!

One good thing I can say about reading the paper. I don’t have the blaring, frightening, shouting out of information and news by a TV reporter who appears as if they are high on caffeine, or worse.

TV reporters talk too loud, leave you with too many questions, and often resort to saying something like, “More to follow on the 10 o’clock news.” Which leads me to believe they don’t have all the facts and some of the stuff sounds as if they are “just speculating,” which to me, means made up!

When I read my paper I’m introduced to the day, the week, in a setting that’s quiet, relaxing, slowly waking up with a cup of coffee. I’m not interested in getting bits and pieces, I want to read facts, take in the news at my own pace, sieving out what I want to ignore.

It’s a type of quiet learning rather than an electronic, jarring shock. I can satisfy myself in a sit-down read instead of the loud, sometimes scary influx of impending doom the TV news offers.

I don’t want the hyped-up, stupid non-news of celebrity affairs, DWI reports of overpaid athletes or a drugged-out rock star’s rampage.

I’m not keen on hearing a TV reporter spew out news as if the world will end tomorrow, shout into a microphone, bombs exploding in the background, or police sirens wailing, as they feverishly describe destruction, murder and robberies. Nor do I want my brain rattled with the fear of budget cuts or tax increases just as I’m getting ready for bed.

I prefer easing into the world on local news, a bit like dipping your toes into a foot bath. I read the comics, the horoscope section, the weather, and the woes of others in the Dear “help me out” advice column, thinking how trivial my worries are compared to the masses who write in for guidance.

My newspaper offers the same news as the TV reporter, just quieter, and I have the privilege to opt out from reading about a celebrity protesting something, a prison strike in Siberia, or the dummy who is caught for selling drugs while driving with expired license plates.

The survey reported more people are returning to reading the paper. Apparently, you guessed it, a study discovered that frightening TV news reports that shock the brain, exploding onto every nerve, has made people depressed, suffer insomnia and fearful of growing destruction across the globe. It tends to disrupt sleep, brings on nightmares and makes one nervous and fearful, just when your body and mind should be calm for a restful night of sleep.

My friend, Dr. Clifford Kuhn, The Laugh Doctor, says it’s a healthy practice to begin the day with a smile. So, turn off the TV news in the evening, read the newspaper; for not only will you start the day with a smile and a laugh, you’ll be much happier.

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