Social Media. This present Information Age.
Though I am grateful I can look up just about any topic at any time, the dark side of social and news media is having a large effect on us all. Okay, it's having an effect on me.
Being able to research information has certainly helped me out many times. Fixing my car, my plumbing, my sprinkling system, planting a garden.... Looking up the wonders of places I may never visit personally enriches and enlarges my mind.
But there is a dark side that wearies me to no end and sometimes I think negates many of the positives. That "other side" zaps me of my emotional and physical energy as I see suffering humanity looking back at me as a story pops up that brings horrible tragedies right into my home. Just this morning scrolling through Facebook I saw the deformed face of a dog reminding me about the reality of puppy mills and that I ought never buy a pet-shop dog. Scrolling down further I saw the story of a dog who died a painful death by swallowing a stick that his owner was using to play fetch with him. Human cruelty has no limits.
I really cannot take the suffering theme very much anymore. I am not one to pull the covers over my head and pretend pain doesn't exist ...and where I can help I will, but it is all too overwhelming.
I want to know.... How do we live in a world that has such extremes of suffering and tragedy .... and beauty? How can we move away from some of the images and stories we see and read each day and go about our business? We constantly have to detach emotionally in order to get through a day and even smile. Because we don't have the power to fix many of the problems.
I'm really wanting to pull out. I'm tiring of all the suffering of the world being broadcast into my life all the time. Before this day and age of information overload people would see a need in front of them and respond (or not).... It was easier to lend a helping hand and feel you could do some good. Now I often feel overwhelmed by the stories of disease, suffering, and the ways people mistreat one another.... and innocent animals...all over the world. The news and social media pick out the worst of the worst of stories to "entertain" us and keep us informed. Often the stories are sickening in the extreme.
I suppose the answer is still to do what you can do.... respond to the people and situations that are in your own life and circle of friends and acquaintances, but I'm ready to shut the rest out.... because I can't solve all those problems and knowing about them just makes my head spin and feeling the pain of others hurts my everyday life... takes away joy. Being able to understand and share the feelings of others is called empathy and I certainly want it, but when is empathy hazardous to your own health?
I'm not sure how to answer some of these questions.... Maybe I can answer them with my head, but I haven't figured out how to answer with my heart.