Where does one turn if intensely interested in politics? For me, it was convenient to fall into a habit of watching cable news. So much cable news. Years of listening to pundits and bullshit. Knowing all of the contributors and seeing what directions channels took to secure viewers. Noticing endless hours spent on some topics with next to no time spent on other topics. But still, I tuned in, because I follow politics, and cable news is where you can catch some coverage of some aspects of politics and society.
We all know that each station caters to different views, and taps into particular politics, and each channel drives home a narrative for days and weeks at a time. You follow politics like sports and choose a team and come to dislike or even hate your opponent.
In late 2020 following the presidential election I tapped out. I couldn't take it anymore. I had watched too much cable news and was sick of it. I decided to stop caring about talking heads and to not care about who said what and stopped paying attention to daily controversies. I still care about politics and I'll never stop wanting to know about politics and society. I don't need cable news as part of my information gathering. It was never the case that I was entirely dependent on cable news, but it did take up too much of my diet.
I'm not a better person since I stopped watching. I don't sleep any better. I just stopped watching something that wasn't worth watching anymore. I wish I had stopped sooner. The sun still looks the same, I still like trees, but I didn't gain extra appreciation for nature or life or my loved ones. I did cut out a lot of bullshit and I'm not told by a TV station what to think about or how long to think about it and that's good for me.