Is ignorance really bliss?Bad news follows us everywhere on the radio, the television, twitter, facebook, newspapers...I could go on. The 'news' seems not a way of telling us about what is good and...

Is ignorance really bliss?

Bad news follows us everywhere on the radio, the television, twitter, facebook, newspapers...I could go on. The 'news' seems not a way of telling us about what is good and well in the world but instead a way of listing everything that's going wrong, and hearing about rare and terrible occurences so often we usually start believing that they can't be all that rare at all.  Keeping up-to-date with current affairs can lead to paranoia and depressive states of mind such as anxiety, confusion and irritation. But then do we need the news to put our own lives into perspective?

This months ELLE article by Gaby Hinscliff posed the question "Have we reached bad news overload?" and I was interested to see whether or not most people prefer to keep themselves in the dark or not, thank you for any responses.

Expert Answers
belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'll give one for each side.

Yes, without question. The less we know about all the horrors in the world, the more we can simply appreciate our own status in society. We do not need a constant barrage of news -- bad or good -- to be happy; all we need is the basic knowledge to stay alive and healthy, and beyond that we don't need to know about all the bad things that are out there.

No, without question. The more we know about the wonders of the world, the more we can appreciate our own existence, which is truly extraordinary. We are alive! Rejoice in it and learn about your life, because knowledge gives new understanding to both our joy and our needs, simple or complex.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I really think that ignorance is bliss. I look back on my life as a teenager and my life now as a parent of a teenager and understand that not knowing everything I thought I knew was a blessing. As for the news, I can do without it. I know that sounds horrible, but it is overwhelmingly depressing. The news fails to focus on the good things in life. While I understand why this is, bad things are always happening, I cannot bring myself to watch.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I read the news but I don't watch TV news because TV news is more geared towards sensationalistic stuff that makes you feel depressed.  When I read, I can find out what's going on in the world, but I can skip all the stuff that gets on TV but really isn't relevant to the lives of most people other than those directly affected.

So I don't think ignorance is bliss.  I think that filtering what you pay attention to is a happy medium.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Long-term universal ignorance is not bliss, in my opinion. Unless we know that problems exist, we cannot solve them.  I can certainly understand, however, why people would want and need breaks from bad news.  Temporary ignorance, in moderation, might be bliss.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I rarely watch the news on TV anymore since the majority is always "bad news." I can live without the "overload" of bad news out there, and choose to skim various Internet sites and read the news that appeals to me. Surely, sometimes ignorance is bliss.