As I drove home today, head filled with the various atrocities I’ve read about in the past few days, I realized I’m sick of knowing everything. I’m sick of knowing the exact way a celebrity died or the cause of their divorce. I’m sick of knowing there are dangerously deranged individuals all over the world and that one of them is sitting in the White House. I’m sick of seeing recordings of athletes committing crimes. I’m sick of knowing every single thing going on in the world and I cannot fathom that this level of knowledge is healthy.
If you think I’m going to blame the Internet for the influx of information, that won’t be the case. The Internet is merely the method of communication so many people rely upon and use on a consistent basis. The people that take the information and freedom created by the existence of the Internet and use it to corrupt, attack, destroy, and spread misery. Or even worse, those who use the information to make money.
Yesterday I searched for information on a killer loose in Cleveland, Ohio. This individual had filmed himself on Facebook Live murdering a random man, Robert Godwin Sr., 74. When I clicked on a link to find out the status of the manhunt, a video began to auto-play. I glanced at it and quickly realized that this so-called news site was auto-playing the Facebook Live video footage of an innocent man being shot in the head. I pressed stop and closed the tab quickly. There is absolutely no reason that anyone other than police, lawyers, and possibly a jury in the future should watch or be able to watch footage of another human being murdered.
Let’s go to Twitter to help wipe that Google search from our memory, shall we? That’s where you find out about a bomb in another country. Or an anniversary of a horrific event which, let’s be honest, is probably every single day of the year. There are tweets about women having health care decisions made by men and women in power. Tweets about 45 signing a kid’s hat and then throwing it into a crowd. Tweets about how China and North Korea want to fucking kill us all because of our Dickbag In Chief.
Maybe Facebook can help. Nope. Someone is posting graphic photos of someone overdosing or animal cruelty or fucking minions talking about immigrants. Someone else decides to tell you about the one horrible thing you somehow avoided while navigating the internet and now your entire day is despair and ruin.
I understand the need for people to know about politics. I understand the need to keep an informed population, especially in the current political climate. I know that we need to resist. I just want to be able to choose when I want to resist or find out about current events and when I just want to read something happy. I don’t need all negativity all of the time and I don’t need the inevitable hopelessness that follows. Avoiding the internet is not an option, as I need to access my email accounts, this site, and other sites for work or family.
Truthfully, I do not know what the answer is, but I think that we all need to understand that all of this is not healthy. So don’t share a video of someone being murdered. Don’t spend all day looking for the terrible in the world and spreading it. Don’t revel in conflict and destruction. Pace yourself and keep a perspective that reflects the good and the terrible happening around you.