Monday, January 08, 2024

News Avoidance

The "On the Media" show did an interview recently about a recent news avoiders study. And it reminded me of a thing I have heard from others, about how the news about (insert ongoing issue) just made them too sad, so they stopped listening. 
And it is easy to yell at those folks. And say, hey, it's harder for the folks living through issue. Or, well, not living through it. 
And yes, of course it is. But part of the issue, whether it's climate change or drones, is that I can listen. I can read. I can empathize, I can process the horror. But I also, cannot fix it. 
And humans really hate not being able to fix things. So sometimes we look away. We block it out. Because I still have bills to pay and things to do. 
But while I cannot personally fix things on a number of fronts right now, I also am not powerless. 
They - that nebulous they - would really like it if I felt powerless. (Also, it's worth noting, that some people legit are doing all they can right now. And that's cool too.) 
It's easier if I don't call my electeds. Don't reach out to community members working towards fixing any or all of these things. Don't look for ways to help make differences. Don't join any protests.
A lot of people would be perfectly happy with me paying my taxes and worrying about my recyclables and asking, advocating, or assisting no other change.  
But just like that time the President's spokesperson said, well, what are we supposed to do, mail everyone COVID tests? And then lots of people said, um, yes please. And then they did. Change can happen when people work for it. 
It's a long process, and there are ways to join existing efforts. Sometimes showing up with stamps may be the thing they need. 
It can be frustrating to feel powerless. But there are things you can do to help.