Notes from a recovering news junkie

Umbrella Man on soapbox John Hager 1910There was a time when I could wile away many an hour in idle, digital, chitchatter.  For close to 15 years I hunted out like-minded souls who craved the need to express their not so humble opinion about everything from local newsworthy tidbits, to environmental or international concerns.

Thing is, I am a news addict. Every morning I open Facebook, not to play Candy Crush, nor for any other reason then to read my newsfeed – and my newsfeed has been ritually cleansed of much of the nittery garbage of idle minds with their nose to their mobile. No, mine actually (for the most part) feeds me news.

Lately I find myself merely skimming, and rarely diving in for more.

I come by my news addiction honestly though, as both my Dad AND his parents all suffer from it. If Dad’s in residence, and there is a TV in the room, you can guarantee that a 24-hour news station is going to be broadcasting.

Newspaper reader

So, my interest in all things newsworthy is perhaps a genetic malady.

I’m just not sure I care any longer. Governments are corrupt, politicians lie, Mayor’s smoke crack, corporations destroy the environment and, meh, I’m indifferent. I still get a twinge every now and again of that need to voice my opinion, but it usually goes away fairly quickly.

Living on ones own means that you grow used to silence after a while – and, apart from social media, there is very little outlet for off the cuff dialogue. Perhaps though I’ve recognized the futility in idle criticism of government actions, or tsk-tsking at another corporate or public scandal.

To be honest, some of my indifference comes from my elitist mindset when it comes to public commentary. The availability and widespread attraction to voice ones opinion has become so common, that the delusional multitudes swamp the forum. Many participants in the public forum are so completely uninformed, that quite frankly they take all the joy out of it.

All that aside, as I believe some wise soul once said…”actions speak louder than words”. I guess it all goes back to that desire I have to discontinue the navel-gazing (and I do have a tendency, let me tell ya).

The only challenge I find any longer is in biting my tongue. As everyone now seems to have an opinion, and viral content swamps our every digital turn, there is certainly no lack of dialogue to feast upon. Yet, it seems as though the more public becomes the opinion, the more governments seem to ignore it. The more scandalous the character, there can be no question someone else will come up with something far more seductive or vicious.

To what end though? I know, I know, one small voice can change the world. I believe that too, but, who can discern anything through this jumbled cacophonic mess of idle, uninformed chatter?

Back when I first ventured forth into the world of the internet, back in the mid-90’s, the public forum was peopled by those who had for the most part discovered the internet via higher education. Not to say they all could be characterized as brilliant, intelligent, or even credible, but it was a quieter place than it is today. One had to hunt out these forums, unlike today where many fling their opinion around like spit.

Instead, I feel this need to pull in. This desire to be reserved with my o’humble opinion on the news of the day. I find it more work to muster the energy to bother speaking up, as I would rather remain silent and listen. In all that diatribe, I hunt for those rare scraps of spice and the needle in the haystack of wisdom.

I find myself surrounded, virtually and otherwise, by this multitude of souls reaching out – their eyes silently crying “PICK ME, PICK ME”…for a host of roles, and their 15 minutes of fame and unfortune. That evil stench of idle chitchat permeates the grid, and stinks up the lines of communication.

So today I find myself on the hunt for an outlet for my noble mindedness. I seek knowledge, as well as the means to express that which rests inside my soul. I desire some way in which to be more than just another voice, but to DO as well. Tiny seeds of goodwill, spread within those pockets of fertile ground that I know are out there, seems far more constructive.

Again, as some wise soul said “opinions are like assholes, we all have one”.

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