Monday, November 17, 2008

Don't Get Caught Up in the headlines.

'Stocks Suffering'
'Citigroup to cut 50,000'
'Dismal Signals Keep Stocks in Broad Retreat'

The blessing in today's information age is the immediacy of news information which is sometimes being reported as it happens. The curse in today's information age is the immediacy... I think you get the picture.

It is very easy to get sucked into the negative news these days. I mean it is EVERYWHERE. You turn on the radio in the car and you have twenty stations with pundits all providing commentary on what 'they feel' is going to happen with the economy. You get to the office, log onto your homepage and see the bombardment of negative news. The ride home, more of the same. The news at night even more of the same. Click on the Blackberry- there it is- AGAIN! One thing is for certain- I really would like to be Rupert Murdoch these days as his toe-hold of the news industry has to be paying dividends beyond all belief.

At first- I thought it was because we are in an election year. But what I fear the most is that this is the new age of information: talking heads, 24/7 on every media avenue possible. I'll admit- it's like a car crash- everyone has to stop and look. I'm guilty of it. After awhile- it really weighs on you. It starts to effect your outlook. You get sucked into this vortex and you can feel the doom and gloom take you over. Get the paper, log on, take the information in. Where does it stop?

Now don't get me wrong- I don't mean to be an escapist and disregard that there are bad things happening to people these days. I fully understand we are in a predicament as a country. The one thing to remember is that we are ALL in this together.

I do, however, strongly believe that the media is helping advance the fear because it helps them sell advertising, it helps them sell papers, but most of all it gives them something to talk about. How great a world would we live in if you opened your paper one morning to read the following headline: "Class of 14 Inner-City Children Learn to Read". The fact is that there are classes around our country of at least 14 inner city kids and they are learning to read! Sound obvious? Yes. Does it sell news papers or stop you in your tracks to watch CNN? NO! Advertisers would not pay CNN millions to run ads if their percentage of viewers went down. Sam Zell would have less to value in the the Tribune Company if people cancelled their subscriptions due to excessive good news.

So my point is very simple. Don't get caught up in the headlines. Focus on the good things that are going on around you. Put things in perspective. But most of all- let's continue to believe in this great country of ours. We are in this together. We got into this together. We will have to climb out of this together. Don't get caught up in the headlines or it WILL take us much longer to get out.