Does Not Watching the News Make Me a Happy Pig

Research shows that screen time for children under the age of two is deterimental to their development. This is why we have decided not to allow screen time for our baby.

When she was a newborn, I used to have the TV on during feeds. However, as the weeks passed by, she became more alert and I found she was constantly turning her head to see the screen. That’s when I completely stopped turning the TV on during the day. I even stopped watching breakfast news, something I’ve done ritually with a cup of tea every morning for at least the past decade.

I noticed that not watching the news had quite a big impact on me. I felt better. All the horrors of the world weren’t seeping into my mind, tainting my headspace every day.

They say ignorance is bliss, and in my case I’d definitely say that’s true. However, I’m not sure if that is a good thing. The philosopher John Stuart Mill believes that it is better to be a dissatisfied person than a happy pig. He argues that there are higher and lower pleasures. Only humans are capable of intellect and moral reasoning. This is what gives us higher pleasures and brings true happiness. A pig, on the other hand, is only capable of lower pleasures, which, in his opinion, is a life with no meaning.

By not exposing myself to the atrocities of the world, I am certainly in a better headspace. But I am also not reflecting on current affairs. Does that mean my happiness is of a lower pleasure? I fear that John Stuart Mill would argue it is. I also feel that I am being selfish for enjoying my life whilst others suffer and I’m doing nothing about it.

However, I am at a time in my life where I have a baby to look after and I think being in a good space myself is good for her too. I’m sure there will come a time again when I am more mentally involved politically, but for now, this feels right for me.

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