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10 CEOs On How They Coped With 2017’s Unrelenting News Cycle

Source | FastCompany : BY PAVITHRA MOHAN

Last month, Slate compiled a year’s worth of New York Times push alerts, from Trump’s election last November through the Weinstein revelations that catalyzed countless reports of sexual harassment in recent months. It threw into sharp relief what we’ve come to accept as the new normal: an unceasing onslaught of news.

Speakers at the Women’s March, on Inauguration Day last January, “encouraged us to take breaks from ‘resisting’ or else we’d start to feel numb to all the news,” recalls Bea Arthur, founder and CEO of artificial intelligence startup The Difference. “But I’m still waiting to get numb,” she says, “because I definitely feel beat up by everything that’s happened this year. I mean, there were some moments that were jaw-dropping when they happened, but we barely remember them now.”

For many others, too, the unrelenting news cycle is causing whiplash–and has taken an emotional toll, occasionally getting in the way of getting stuff done. So Fast Company asked 10 CEOs to weigh in on how they’re stayed focused without losing touch with what’s happening in the world.


“I go back and forth between shutting myself out, and then tuning in and getting fed up,” says Arum Kang, CEO of the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel. Others have gravitated to things that anchor them in their personal lives to stay grounded. “I’ve been relying on a few simple things, like consuming news in moderation and spending time with family,” says Matt Straz, CEO of HR software startup Namely. Straz claims his work environment has helped, as well. “I’m also lucky enough to be part of a company where kindness is a priority,” he adds. “One of our core values is to help each other–being surrounded by a positive environment every day makes a difference.”

But if your day is punctuated by news alerts, it can be difficult to maintain that positivity. That’s why Kelly Peeler, the CEO of NextGenVest, a startup that helps students navigate financial aid, has done what I personally (and maybe you, too) haven’t been able to do: “I removed push notifications on my phone,” she told me. How’s that for moderation?


Many leaders tried channeling their news-related frustration in productive ways. For Shine, a wellness-focused messaging app, that’s literally part of the job. “In a political environment where so many people feel oppressed, it is key to use our passion–and let’s be real, anger–as leaders to fuel change,” co-CEO Naomi Hirabayashi says.

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