If The News And Social Media Are Driving You Bonkers, Maybe Some Of This’ll Help

The news is terrifying. What a shitty place the world is. I’m afraid to go online or turn on the TV. I can’t take it anymore.

I’m hearing these things more and more from people lately and with every mass shooting, bombing, racist incident, protest, Brexit and whatever the fuck is going on in the United States it only gets worse. I’m not sure there’s a one size fits all approach to staying absolutely sane in these times, but there’s some good, common sense advice here that some of you probably need to see.

I have been getting very emotionally caught up in the Internet lately. It hasn’t helped that there has been terrible tragic news on a regular basis and everyone seems to have a strong opinion about it. It also doesn’t help that our country’s election cycle is a circus and someone affiliated with a candidate who is about to lead our country says something stupid or wrong. I’ve felt this trickle down to the point where I’ve started to dislike people I actually like… because of the way they respond to the news cycle online. It’s making me depressed. I know I should “unplug” and be the smarter, patient, understanding person that I want to see in the world, but as a coach and parent, it is also my job to be able to respond to what my kids ask me about the news cycle, and the opinions that they hear. How do I balance this without letting it get to me? Is there any way to be plugged into the world without getting incredibly overwhelmed and saddened by it?
Who isn’t feeling this way lately? Without even clicking through to read articles, the headlines on the front page of CNN.com can feel like an assault. Add in all of the unsolicited (crazy) opinions about these “news” items from people you love on Facebook, and it can be a heroic feat to even look at the internet most days. So, first of all, you’re not wrong to feel this way. This is a very normal, universal response to the current state of things. Here’s how to manage it.

You should read the whole thing if you need it, but the TLDR version basically goes like this:

  • Just because somebody posts it doesn’t mean it’s news. We get information faster than ever before, and an awful lot of it is garbage. It’s perfectly fine to not make time to read it all.
  • Along that same line, pick a non-garbage source or two, get what you need to stay reasonably informed from them and don’t bother with everything else.
  • It’s ok to not know everything about everything all the time, even if you’re the person people tend to come to with questions. Saying you don’t know now and then isn’t a crime.
  • Twitter and Facebook have mute and block functions for a reason. Use ’em.
  • Find comfort in your like-minded friends. Bitch to each other, complain to each other, make fun of the stupid imbeciles that have driven you to this point together.
  • Be a little selfish. It’s ok to unplug and focus on yourself now and then, especially if the alternative is hating everyone.

Like I said, it won’t solve all of the problems (Trump is probably still gonna be here when you come back), but something is certainly better than nothing.

Good luck.

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