Seriously, put the paper down. We’re not kidding. It’s making you worse at your job.
A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review and Arianna Huffington determined that watching just three minutes of negative news in the morning can make you 27 percent more likely to report being unhappy six to eight hours later.
They cited a literature review by James K. Harter, Frank L. Schmidt and Corey L. M. Keyes published in 2003 by the American Psychological Association that ties well being in the workplace to positive business outcomes, concluding that watching the news makes you less productive.
Just reading that has probably sent you into a spiral of overwhelming despair, leaving you unable to maintain your basic personal hygiene habits let alone commit yourself to a full class load and the soul-crushing part-time job you toil at to keep yourself from drowning in student loan debt.
If you didn’t heed our warnings and are still reading, that’s on you.
It’s worth noting that their control group watched three minutes of news that focused on positive solutions — like a story about a 70-year-old man who received his GED certificate after failing several times — so it’s possible those stories made the control group happier. But they are basing their conclusion on a previous study conducted by Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania that found negative news reports negatively impacted consumers’ moods.
But we already know the score. That’s why our Arts and Entertainment and Sports stories are printed in glorious Technicolor and you have to read the news in dour black and white. We’re here to kill your vibe.
You could read the study as insinuating that reading the news makes you a less effective drone for your corporate overlords. Workers need to pretend the world is a happy and positive place to boost productivity and increase profits so CEO salaries can keep ballooning while median wages remain stagnant. Look at that, negative news worked its way into that last sentence almost by accident.
But, there is another way to read the study. News needs to focus on agents of change trying to improve negative scenarios. Otherwise consumers get the impression that they are helpless. The problems are too big for them to be able to affect the outcome.
There are times when we can’t put a positive spin on things. Life for adjunct professors sucks. Student debt is piling up. The toilet paper on campus is woefully inadequate.
But when possible, we at The Jambar try to focus on the positives. Yeah, we need a grocery store, but SGA approved an initiative to help people living on campus get to the store. There are a lot of abandoned buildings and parking lots downtown, but Kent State students are envisioning new uses. Women don’t achieve the same level of success men do in business, but the Youngstown Business Incubator is working to change that.
So maybe you shouldn’t put down The Jambar. Yeah, you might come across a problem at YSU that seems unsolvable, but ignorance isn’t bliss, and maybe you’re the one that has a solution. If you are we’ll write about you.
The editorial board that writes editorials consists of the editor-in-chief, the managing editor, the copy editor, and the news editor. These opinion pieces are written separately from news articles. They draw on the opinions of the entire writing staff and do not reflect the opinions of any individual staff member. The Jambar’s business manager and non-writing staff do not contribute to editorials, and the advisor does not have final approval.