What with COVID and elections I had become a bit of a news junkie in recent months whereas, prior to that, I really only paid passing interest to the headlines. What has struck me in recent weeks is the draining effect of watching the news on a regular basis. I’ve found it has had a negative impact on my mental health to the extent where I am now making a conscious effort to spend less time watching and reading about what is happening in the world.
Some of you may think I’m sticking my head in the sand, my fingers in my ears and whistling until it all goes away. I can understand why you might think that way. We need to have an awareness as to what is happening in the world and educate ourselves about matters relevant to our lives. Ignorance is not an excuse and I have seen enough of the former in 2020 to last me a lifetime. I admire people who are making the effort to learn so they can improve as human beings in these troubled times.
I think the major damage I’m inflicting upon myself is reading people’s reaction to the news, scrolling down the comments screen as keyboard warriors and self-appointed experts set the world to rights. Largely via the use of multiple capital letters, exclamation marks and angry face emojis. Oh, and swearing. Lots of swearing. Because that’s big and adult and clever and sure to have people aligned to your point of view in no time at all.
I’ve even been on the receiving end of negative comments myself. Some unhinged, others snarky and then the deeply unnerving passive-aggressive ones that probably freak me out the most. I’ve considered posting less, not posting about certain topics, even not posting at all and packing in the blog. But, that would be three years of hard work down the drain. All because of a minority who probably wouldn’t even notice I was gone. So, here I am. Writing the words. But I’ll be watching less news and reading less comments, that’s for sure.
How drained are you by life at the moment?