I think I have a problem. I think I am an addict. News is my drug and Internet my dealer.
I don't know why but I always feel like updating myself about what is going around the world every few minutes otherwise I feel restless. And what other mode could be more useful today to achieve that other than using the World Wide Web. Spending even a single day without the internet seems like getting lost.
Reading news is not the main problem but getting tangled in it and spending hours on it is my problem. And this thing really scares me sometimes. Let me explain by giving an example. There was recently this row over Italian marines in India. Just going to a website like BBC and reading the related article should ideally do the job. But, not for me. No, Sir. This is not enough information for me. I will not stop and move on with another article. I will keeping digging into the article, dissecting it piece by piece, doing a postmortem on it word by word till the point that either I get tired or bored or the Internet stop giving me any further information (this rarely happens) or I suddenly realize and ask myself, Are you crazy? Do you really need all this information? Will it help you anyway in your life?
The thing is that I want to know everything, I want to know every opinion before making my own opinion. So, I will read the same news piece on maybe 10 different places. Like what or how the American media has written it, what is the opinion of the Indian media, what German media has to say about it, how the Europeans react to it. The madness just does not stop there. It leads to a kind of chained reaction. A random word/ting in the article will catch my attention about which my knowledge is limited. Then, I would try to google it or check it on Wikipedia to get an idea. A link explaining it would contain further links. Then I would go checking all of them out. If my appetite is not satisfied by wasting spending enough time on it, I would then go to Google Images and try to find its images. Continuing with the Italian article example, I further tried to find out what really is a marine. Then how are they recruited in Italy. Is it similar to the marines in the US. Does India also have a marine recruitment process. What are the differences, how different do they appear in reality. My curiosity just does not seem to stop at any practical level.
Another example from yesterday. I read a simple article that the brother of that Sri Lankan guy, Rajaratnam (who was earlier found guilty of fraud) was also indicted on charges of insider trading. But that did not seemed enough for me. It let me google the guy out on Google Images. Then, reading even more about the story like how did they started, where did they started, who were the players involved in that scam. The chain continued by googling more on Anil Kmar, Rajiv Goel, Rajat Gupta and even Roomy Khan. How they look, where they are from, what they studied, where they studied, whom they worked for, are they married, where are their families, what are they doing etc. I just cant stop myself, it seems. The point where I was listening to the wire taped conversation of Rajaratnam, I realized I was not in my right senses.
I asked myself if knowing all this would help me in anyway or if it was even necessary. I am not a journalist, I don't own a media house, I am not the chief editor of any of Murdoch's many news houses. I am a simple person working in the domain of R&D in Communication Systems which has absolutely nothing to do with any of the above not just by miles or kms but by a million light years. No matter how hard I try not to waste my time on things which I have no control over or which might not be affecting me directly, but still like a junkie, I am just not able to let it go. Hope this madness has an end to it .... soon.