As the saying goes:
A news anchor wishes you a wonderful evening and then spends 15 minutes explaining why it’s not.
I have made the same observation as you. I stopped watching the news about two years ago and apart from a continuous mood boost I haven’t really noticed any side effects.
Just less information and knowledge on politics and other disasters, which means less stuff to worry and argue about. Happier life.
Sure, I might feel slightly dumber regarding these topics — but just as you said, you’ll hear about the big thing through word of mouth. And if you become interested in a specific topic, there is always Google.
I’d actually recommend a couple of books:
Atomic Habits by James Clear, the number one book on habits, their impacts, the science behind them and how to pick them up.
The subtle art of not giving a fuck by Mark Manson, a great and easy to read book about life in general and values in specific.
The Mask of Masculinity by Lewis Howes, for any male who wants to improve his emotional and psychological life as well as his relationships with others.
Men are from Mars, women are from Venus by John Gray, lots of timeless advice and insights about the sexes and relationships.
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, undoubtedly the leading expert on vulnerability and shame research (check her TED talk!)
A short history of nearly everything by Bill Bryson, an entertaining introduction to Earth’s history as well as the origin and development of sciences such as chemistry, physics, geology etc. (Sounds boring, but it’s loaded with entertaining anecdotes and interesting facts.
Crucial Conversations, a great collection of techniques and strategies to defuse heated arguments and deal with high-stake discussions.
There are plenty more but that should do for now, wish you all a wonderful week!