Stop Reading The News Book Summary By Rolf Dobelli

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Stop Reading the News is a powerful and timely book written by author Mark Manson in 2020 that helps readers reclaim their sanity and peace of mind by abstaining from consuming news media.

Through this radical abstinence, it is possible to free up mental bandwidth and focus on what matters in life.

Covering everything from how to effectively detach our attention from news-related topics, to crafting healthier habits and routines, Stop Reading the News provides readers with a comprehensive guide tailored towards achieving a healthy level of awareness with regards to current affairs.

Stop Reading The News Book

Book Name: Stop Reading the News (How to Cope with the Information Overload and Think More Clearly)

Author(s): Rolf Dobelli

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 19 Minutes

Categories: Mindfulness & Happiness

Author Bio

Rolf Dobelli is an accomplished author and businessman who hails from Lucerne, Switzerland.

He started his writing career back in 2003 with a novel known as Fünfunddreissig, but what made him famous later on was his works of non-fiction like The Art of Thinking Clearly.

In 1999, he also co-founded getAbstract, an organization that specializes in publishing summaries of books and articles.

Over the years, Rolf has gained massive recognition for his insightful works and views on society, making him one of the most renowned authors in modern times.

His deep understanding of human nature and unique way of looking at the world has earned him quite a number of fans who eagerly anticipate any new material from him.

The Health Benefits Of Breaking Your News Addiction

Health Benefits

It’s easy to become addicted to the news, habitually checking our phones for updates first thing in the morning and throughout the day.

It seems harmless, but in reality it’s taking a toll on our mental and physical health.

We’re exposed to more information than ever before, and often this is negative news which can make us anxious and listless.

This is why stopping reading the news can be so beneficial.

By walking away from this cycle of headlines and negativity bias that comes with news consumption – we are allowing ourselves to use our time in more productive ways.

We become calmer, more focused and enjoy life without having the constant distraction of what’s going on around us.

Live a life free of the distracting and draining news cycle today by deleting those apps, blocking those websites, and cancelling those subscription services.

You’ll quickly notice the difference in your own mental clarity as you step out of this constant loop of negative information – giving yourself a much needed break from all the noise!

The News Addiction Of Rolf Dobelli: Attention Without Insight

Rolf Dobelli’s relationship with the news began in his teens.

Growing up in Lucerne, Switzerland, the news was all around him – from the paperboy every morning to the radio and TV news programs in the evening.

But this wasn’t enough for Dobelli.

He soon found himself drawn to the library reading room spending Saturdays with elderly men flipping through weekend papers in an attempt to gain knowledge about events happening all over the world.

Once he got a job as a financial controller for Swissair, his consumption of news increased exponentially.

He read newspapers on every flight and subscribed to daily newsletters that kept him updated on everch corner of the globe.

All this new information became too much when Dobelli realized he couldn’t focus on books or lengthy articles anymore due to information overload.

This prompted him to ask himself if his habit had really brought him any benefit or knowledge; had it actually made him any happier? The answer was clear – No!

It’s safe to say Rolf Dobelli was addicted to news from an early age and it ended up taking over his life completely.

In An Age Of Constant Updates, News Media Shape Our Attention To Focus On Novelty Over Relevance

The news media has long been obsessed with novelty.

Even from the beginning, when Leipzig, Germany got its first daily newspaper back in 1650, news largely meant presenting whatever was going to grab the most attention of passers-by.

This wasn’t a matter of relevance to people’s lives, simply what could sell newspapers.

This trick is still being used today.

Many online outlets survive off advertising revenue; they need clicks in order to make money, so they have to chase even more eye-catching headlines.

With the invention of smartphones and constant access to news media, we can be glued to updates on events we can’t even control making us miss out on what should be the most important elements of our lives like our health, friends and family and our community.

It’s time people remembered that since the first newspapers news has always been based on providing novelty instead of things that matter in our lives which is why it’s important for people to recognize this and act accordingly accordingly today in order not to fall victim yet again to this way media goes about reporting information.

How News Consumption Rewires Our Brains And Negatively Impacts Deep Thinking

Deep Thinking

Reading the news may seem like an innocuous activity, but in reality, it’s having a serious effect on our brains.

Research done by University College London and the University of Tokyo have both shown that when we consume too much news, our brains actually start to rewire themselves.

Specifically, nerve cells will form new connections and break off old ones due to all of those stimuli–which can have some serious negative implications.

Multitasking and quickly processing new information become easier while other important traits such as attention span and moral deliberation become stunted.

Even further, according to researcher Nicholas Carr, habitual online news consumption can lead our brains to adapt to “cursory reading, hurried and distracted thinking, and superficial learning.”

In short–reading lots of news rewires our brains negatively by impairing areas such as attention span and focus while encouraging more shallow thinking and multitasking abilities.

The Negative Impact Of Bad News On Our Minds And Bodies

The evidence is clear: Bad news is toxic for your body.

The headlines of any newspaper or news site often contain stories of death, destruction and tragedy – not the good stuff.

Why? Because it sells newspapers and garners clicks, of course!

And that’s why you need to be aware of the potential damage that this type of media can do to your physical health and wellbeing.

One key reason for this is something called a negativity bias – a trait we’ve had for centuries which means that negative information has a much bigger impact on us than positive news does.

So, if a stock drops by 10%, it affects us twice as hard as when it rises by the same amount.

This human susceptibility to bad news means that it only makes sense for the media outlets to highlight negative stories over positives ones; they know what will work best to make money and drive traffic.

This reliance on bad news triggers an immediate physiological response in our bodies; specifically, adrenaline kicks in and stimulates cortisol production which weakens our immune system, disrupts growth hormones and ultimately puts us under unecessary psychological stress.

Not surprisingly, studies have shown that about half of all adults are suffering from some form of stress brought on by their ‘news addiction’!

Unless we make drastic lifestyle changes, this unhealthy cycle will continue unabated.

Reading The News Won’T Help You Change The World For The Better: Take Action To Make A Difference

It’s easy to get caught up in sensational news stories and the latest headlines, but it is important to remember that reading the news doesn’t help you change the world for the better.

Sure, it might give you a sense of empathy or understanding, but in reality all it does is fill the pockets of media outlets and their sponsors with clicks and views.

Instead of wasting time scrolling through news articles or agonizing over events happening all around the world, your time could be better spent on helping those in need.

Consider donating money to relief charities or volunteering your time and expertise to organizations focused on solving real-world problems.

By taking concrete action instead of consuming others’ misfortune for entertainment, you are truly showing your humanity.

Moreover, there are many stories that don’t make their way onto the front page and have lasting effects long after most people stop paying attention.

An example would be ongoing conflicts throughout Middle Eastern countries such as Yemen and Palestine – issues that can take years if not decades to resolve, but may go forgotten while newer stories take priority.

When searching for ways to make a difference and create more positive change in this world, start by looking within yourself first – don’t rely solely on news sources as they often paint an incomplete picture.

Take tangible steps towards alleviating suffering wherever possible; sometimes the smallest acts of kindness can have massive ripple effects!

Breaking An Addiction To The News: The Benefits Of Radical Abstinence


Breaking a news addiction is not easy.

It requires drastic measures, including cutting yourself off from the news media entirely.

This means deleting all news apps from your phone and all news websites from your browser favorites.

You should also set your homepage to something other than a news site.

Additionally, you should stop buying newspapers, turn off the radio, and stop watching TV news.

At first this will be difficult as when socializing with those who are consuming lots of news, you could feel left out of conversation but really important or interesting stories will come back to you anyway by word of mouth.

The idea is to try and make it through 30 days where you restrict yourself entirely from any kind of news media in order to break the habit and hopefully not feel the urge after those 30 days have passed.

With the time gained by breaking your addiction, you can now read more books or long-form articles written by professionals which offer more in depth understanding on topics instead of just shallow understanding offered in the mainstream media.

The Power Of Focusing: Enjoy The Internality And Find Success By Rejecting The News

Staying within your circle of competence is essential to being successful.

Warren Buffet has even said so–he calls it his “circle of competence,” and suggests that one should focus their energy here rather than straying out of it or getting distracted.

All too often, though, we don’t take this suggestion and instead read the news all day long.

The news can be a great source of information about the world, but its simplified version of events keeps you from reflecting on things deeply and understanding them in full complexity.

Not to mention, spending time reading news articles takes away valuable hours that should be spend mastering a particular craft!

Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, and Beethoven didn’t become greats in their respective fields by consuming media; they focused on their tasks at hand and dedicated themselves to them with abandon–and so must we.

So if you’re looking to become an expert at something, put down your phone and give up the news!

Ready To Step Away From The News? Read Deeply And Debate Like Ancient Greek Activists For A Healthy Democracy

Healthy Democracy

When it comes to staying informed and taking part in democracy, cutting out the news is no cause for concern.

This has long been the case, even before mass media came around.

Our ancestors participated in healthy democracies without the constant flood of news we receive today — think back to Ancient Greece, and classical thinkers such as Rousseau, Montesquieu, Hume and Locke who relied on salons, pamphlets, essays and debating societies to stay informed.

While cutting out the news may be seen as a concern that power can go unchecked, it’s important to note that real journalism can still effectively hold those in power accountable.

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are well known examples of this thanks to their work on unearthing the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post.

As opposed to rolling news which results from writers giving superficial coverage on 20 or 30 different topics at once, ‘real journalism’ requires more effort and skill — which often results in longer articles told over podcasts or documentaries revealing something new about a particular subject rather than simply regurgitating clichés.

As such, this kind of work requires journalists with distinct areas of expertise to report accurately and deeply into a certain matter as opposed to simply reporting facts reported by others.

Those wishing to stay up-to-date without feeling overwhelmed by too much written or broadcasted news have other options available too: publications offering weekly summaries are an ideal way of keeping up with current affairs without being constantly bombarded by them.

In conclusion: cutting out the news doesn’t harm democracy overall — indeed it could even be beneficial if real journalism techniques (digging deep, providing background information on complex stories) were employed instead as a valid alternative source of gaining knowledge into how our political system functions within any given society throughout time.

Wrap Up

The final takeaway from Stop Reading the News is that a clean break from news consumption can spark positive change in your life.

Overloading on news rewires your brain, resulting in shallower thinking and more distractions.

Moreover, it can make you feel stressed, powerless and useless in the face of global happenings, as well as take a toll on physical health.

However, by committing to radical abstinence and substitute activities such as engaging in meaningful conversations about topics that matter with others or develop a deeper understanding with friends – it gives you an opportunity to enjoy greater clarity of thought and foster better mental wellbeing.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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