15/04/2015 8:19 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Five Benefits Of Watching The News

Don't look at prime time debates with contempt. Steer clear of perceiving them as self-serving, TRP loving, sensationalist shows. Instead, look at it as nature's way of healing the mind, body and soul.

A stress buster?

With Twitter users heaping ridicule on news anchors, English news channels have become dart boards for collective national catharsis. Our news channels have been writhing on the mat after tweeple landed some solid punches in the aftermath of the controversial 'presstitutes' comment by General VK Singh.

Two things. One, despite the veneer of righteousness, the outcome of television debates does little for the subject. Second, since there is a reason for everything, I believe, television news is transmitted into our living rooms for a higher purpose. Don't look at prime time debates with contempt. Steer clear of perceiving them as self-serving, TRP loving, sensationalist shows. Instead, look at it as nature's way of healing the mind, body and soul. Stick with me and I'll tell you why.

Physical Health

As in physical exercise, blood pressure shoots up while you are watching TV debates. Regular viewing, like exercise, can help lower your blood pressure, as long as you keep it up. This is because your heart pumps more to enable you to make sense when panelists are screaming. Healthy heart, healthy body. Got it? What's more, you learn to modulate your vocal chords, thereby exercising the throat muscles like the conscientious anchor.

Mental Health As A Perk

A University of Michigan study says that gossip releases progesterone--a stress buster. Because our news is about 'who said what', watching news can reduce anxiety levels. Look at the last few days. We've spent days dissecting Giriraj Singh's shocker, Sharad Yadav's blooper, Goa CM's blunder. If it is not about outrageous comments, it is about controversial tweets. Common, admit it. As long as it's not your bum, there is great fun in public spanking.

Moreover, TV debates convert complex issues into simple binary choices. So you are either with the anchor or against him. Simple.

Men Can Speak

If you are a married man, your chance to speak your heart out is only on news channels. Whether it is beef ban or Toyota Fortuner for Telangana babus, you can vent it out. I'm not sure if they really love your voice or your eye balls, but most channels invite you to call them after every outrageous comment begins circulation. Shout out for public flogging or street hanging. Don't worry, nothing changes. But you feel better. Remember what Kareena tells Shahid Kapoor in Jab We Met?

Lessons In Secularism

Apart from health benefits, there are other perks of lessons in secularism. Even if the debate is about adult diapers, some channels can twist the debate towards what social media calls 'sickularism'.

Panelist: Government has decided to increase the production of adult diapers.

Anchor: But isn't this about Hindu nationalism?

Panelist: Err, how?

Anchor: Our survey says there 18% increase in communal intolerance.

Panelist: Communal intolerance? But we're talking about urinal incontinence?

Inculcates Patriotism And Is Inspirational

If you've always wanted to join the armed forces, you can fight a virtual war with real life Pakistani Generals and Naval Chiefs. The scene is straight out of a war zone--fire brims off the ticker, loud noises shatter the window panes and emotions run high. Above all, with the anchor on your side, you win.

Once you realize the above benefits, it gets better. Tell me, which other show inspires you to be the best? When news anchors inspire you to be number one, you are likely to develop leadership qualities.

As for me, thirty minutes, once a day, five times a week has reduced my blood pressure by 20 mm hg. Regular gossip keeps me stress free. Twenty odd angry tweets per day helps me vent out, and keeps my husband safe. Above all, constant carping criticism creates space for positivity in my personal life. I mean, how much negativity can one tolerate, right? So I either make an extra effort to be happy, or be happy in knowing that nothing is good enough.

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