You could easily spend 400 hours each year just catching up with the news. If you add it all together - reading the Huffington Post, visiting the BBC website, watching news on TV, listening in the car and reading a daily paper as well as a Sunday title - nearly 17 full days will be taken up consuming news.
But you can have all that back in the next three minutes.
Just think about what's likely to come up in the next twelve months.
New celebrities will appear. We will learn of their hopes, fears, dreams and disasters over the course of their short, bright life in public space. Some will simply disappear from view. Others will write autobiographies. Others will come to a tragic end.
The highs and lows of our current crop of celebrities will demand equal attention and broadly the same things will happen. We are not going to be surprised.
There will probably be a number of natural disasters but we won't really get to hear much about them unless we are in some way involved. If there are Brits in the mix, it'll make the news. If they are young, interesting and photogenic, whole acres of news space will open up. Older people still get coverage but not so much.
Even if Brits are not directly involved, there will be coverage if the disaster affects our friends or interests. Otherwise, we won't hear much. Those starving in the "Third World" will suffer unless journos can find a UK angle.
There will be trouble in the Middle East. Such are the competing ambitions and ideologies that it will always make the news. The situation on Iran and its weaponry will intensify. There may be skirmishes. The Israel/Palestine question will remain live and the news will be much as it has been this year. The factors driving news will continue to bubble under the surface: oil, water, food, power and land.
There will be stories of greed. This year it has been bankers. Next year, no doubt, some other high-earner will be accused of filling their boots. The underpinning theme here will be: one rule for them, another for the rest of us. There may even be another Occupy Somewhere story. Different people may appear but they'll say largely the same things. Some will condemn "the system", others will celebrate its nature - volatile and self-correcting.
Not much will change in the House of Commons. The government will face accusations of being heartless, out of touch and NHS wreckers. There will be talk about the further loss of faith in the Lib Dems. The Labour Party will face accusations about leadership (all leaders do in opposition). It's unlikely that anyone will be gearing up for an election just yet.
Foreign wars will continue to get covered - not least because there are correspondents based in war zones. We'll get the news from America and from Europe where the story will either be how to sustain unsustainable finances or how we're going to cope with the collapse of the Greek/Spanish/Italian economy.
Some things are very real
The downturn will still be in the news.
But we won't need to read about that because all but a small segment of the population will be experiencing it for real. These will be families struggling to make ends meet, trying help their children find jobs, worrying about how to pay for university education, and stressing about their elderly parents' lives.
While it might be vaguely comforting to know what other people are going through, they'll probably just be trying to hang onto their own tortured reality where wages are falling and prices are rising.
From time to time, the 0.1% to whom the downturn is both an inconvenience and an opportunity will be featured, usually negatively. But they won't care.
Back in TV Land, The Apprentice will come and go. We will see mini-entrepreneurs talking about how cash is better than sex and asserting that they are future Bransons and Sugars. One of them will be very annoying or very attractive and either draw hate or admiration. Both may end up being recruited as after dinner speakers or TV hosts. Tales of their likes, dislikes, hopes, fears, dreams and disasters will fill pages (see above).
In due course, there will be Britain's Got Talent and the X Factor. Then the talk will be of Christmas number ones and who is going to take it from Mr. Cowell this year. Some people might watch Big Brother. Who knows?
None of this is to trivialise news. News clearly matters. News can change the way we feel and the things we do. It can mobilise people to change the lives of others. And news of disasters that should demand our attention - because we can do something about it like give money - should always get through.
Maybe rather than news, we're now consuming a curious form of infotainment. We appear to enjoy different emotions as we suck in this kind of information. Some news reassures us that all is well with the world (at least our lot is better than theirs.) Other items scare us a bit - this could happen to you - like going to Alton Towers, you know you're safe really but it's frightening at the time. Some stories remind us that there but for the grace of God go we. And some stuff just makes us smile.
But since all real news is local the stuff we really need to know about we'll learn from Facebook or friends. As for the rest...well, how much can it matter?
So imagine that for a whole year you don't read another paper or listen to the news once. What would you do with the time?
You needn't worry about missing out. If something really matters, you'll get to hear about it.
In one year's time, when you switch on the news, it will be feel like you've never been away.
In the meantime, if anything really important happens, don't worry, you'll get to know all about it.
Follow Mark Fletcher-Brown on Twitter: www.twitter.com/morque