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Confessions of a Cable News Adict

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Ok, I admit it, I watch too much tv---especially cable news.I have to turn it on first thing in the morning to make sure that the world is still ok before I can do anything else. (This is post 911 syndrome). I have to check in sporadically throughout the day. And I love the analyst shows in the evening when I'm making dinner. I also have satellite radio and I only listen to music when my kids are in the car. Otherwise I'm switching between CNBC, Fox News, and CNN (to make sure I have all my bases covered.)I get pissed when people are fanatic or irrational on either side. I hate politicians fromboth sides equally and passionately, yet still I have to know what mockery Barney Frank is up to, or what ridiculous conspiracy the Republicans are trying to stir up. My liberal friends think I'm too conservative and my conservative friends think I'm too liberal. Which tells me that they are all nuts and I'm clearly the center rational realist. Sometimes, I talk back to the tv or the care radio, in an effort to set them straight. As if that makes a difference. As I'm about in the middle politically (and I'm a Libra) I always have to find the balanced argument in the middle somewhere.I literally am obsessed with knowing everything that is going on at all times, and then I analyze it all in my head and have debates with myself about how I would work it all out, if only anyone would listen to me!

I find that I am actually astonished when I'm talking to someone at a dinner party or waiting in line at Martys, or in PA meeting at school and a topic of the day comes up and Irealize this person eyes are glazing over, theydon't know whats going on. I know the topic has been a top news item for days, I think to myself, what planet do they live on? How do they not know this crucial bit of information? Then it occurs to me that some people have a life withoutmy painful addiction. They are the lucky ones, content to check in once a week with the NYTimes, and leave it at that. Its a happier life, I'm quite sure.

We recently went away to Mexico for Spring Break. While there I made a commitment to only check my blackberry and phone messages 3 times a day.I watched no news shows.I went through complete withdrawl, and with the amount of Margaritas Iwas drinking, I barelynoticed the body shakes. Its been so depressing lately to be addicted to news that I really needed a break. In fact, one day my husband said "the market is rallying huge, up 400 points!" I covered my ears and said "shhh, I don't want to hear any of it!" I didn't even want the good news, just total news blackout. So of course like any addict after withdrawl, I promised that I was going to watch less cable news when I got back.I don't really need to have all the information to be able to debate any political argument at any second do I? Do I really need to know that the marketopened down 100 then down 149 then down 179 before the rally at the close to end up down 63? I mean wouldn't then end number just be enough? (This part stems from my former Wall St career as an equity trader with CNBC on all day and 5 computers on my desk with access to every possible news feed available). Oh, here is another confession, I still would say that my best dreams are when I a reliving incredible moments on the trading desk where everything is going my way and I'm making a fortune, and my worst nightmares are when the opposite is occurring (I'm long AIG and its blowing up, can't get out, aghhh!) Old habits die hard...

Anyway, I tried to stay off the juice for a few days after I returned from Mexico. The constant stress on knowing everything going on is reeking havoc on my shoulders and my back, constant pain, lots of Aleve (that is becoming a secondary addiction). However, I am now coming forward to tell you that my kids are in bed, that I watched Kudlow while I did the dishes and that CNBC is on in my office while I write. Spring Break seems so far away....I'm off the wagon.

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  1. Veronica on

    Cable news is a good thing, bad news scenario. While knowing what is going on minute-by-minute keeps you “nimble;” it also can increase your anxiety. Ah, I long for the lazy, hazy days of summer when smelling that early morning dew, seeing the flowers opening to the sun, and having nothing planned but breathing deeply is all I needed to start my day!