Unplug

Angela stands on a bridge on campus.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanHCI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

A portrait style photo of Angela.

Turning on the TV or opening up the News app nowadays can feel like a chore. Or the opposite could be true — it may bring a sense of control.

Developing obsessive news checking behaviors is a common phenomenon, moreso now than ever. People want to remain informed as often as possible. Nobody wants to be the “last to know” or be seen as “uneducated.” However, constantly having a stream of news media, oftentimes not good news, can be anxiety inducing.

According to a clinical psychologist at McLean Hospital, Jacqueline Bullis, Ph.D., “staying glued to the television or constantly refreshing our social media feeds may help us feel slightly less anxious in the short term. These behaviors ultimately have the opposite effect.” (Bullus, J. (2020, April 21). 

Angela sitting and reading a book outside the Business building.

While it’s important to stay up to date in order to continuously be aware of how to protect yourselves and others, it’s not necessary to stay plugged in all hours of the day. It may be beneficial to designate an amount of time it’s okay to check the news per day, or set aside a specific time slot when reading the news is acceptable.

Limiting exposure to news media outlets may be a key component to self preserving mental health. Not engaging in news-related conversation or viewing all hours of the day does not make someone uneducated, but rather is vital to self preservation. It’s important to set boundaries with friends, family and peers when it comes to these discussions since they can be incredibly emotionally draining. 

While it is tempting to be up to date all day, the news will be there at the end of the day, or early the next morning if one wishes to consume it. The amazing aspect of technology is that things online don’t disappear: people aren’t missing out if they don’t click the notification on their phone for the newest Covid-19 update right away.

Put the phone on Do Not Disturb and take a break.

Angela sitting and posing.

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Story by:
Angela Colo, junior psychology major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

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