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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

I’m tired of being tired from the news

<mething that I’ve heard a lot of people talking about recently can be summed up in one word: fatigue. People are tired of the news, tired of keeping up with it, tired of hearing about horrible things that happen that they are powerless to change. I am feeling it, too. I am tired of looking at my phone when I wake up and not even being surprised by the latest Horrible Thing.

I am also tired of accepting this tired feeling. I love reading the news, and I miss the time when I could do it without feeling exhausted. Bad things have always happened in the world, and bad things have always filled the news, but these days, sitting down to catch up on the latest headlines seems to take a little bit more emotional preparedness. And, of course, this is just me; I’m privileged that most news doesn’t have immediate impacts on my life. Many people do not have that privilege.

People far and wide have offered many solutions to this problem. Take a break. Self-care. Know your limits. I’m one hundred percent in support of that. They also say to do what you can. Take action. Call your representatives. Vote. Protest. Volunteer. I am also one hundred percent in support of that. But neither of these ideas changes the fact that the news seems to be happening at a faster and faster pace and that it’s increasingly difficult to keep up. The news cycle feels less like a cycle and more like the loops of a roller coaster, except this ride does not seem to be ending.

Instead, it just keeps going, so maybe we need to—what? Enjoy it? No. I did not enjoy watching Dr. Christine Blasey Ford face grueling questions about her trauma in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I do not enjoy seeing reminders pop up on my Facebook feed from the ACLU about how many days have passed since the Trump administration failed to meet its deadline for reuniting separated families.

Self-care and action are both important, in fact crucial, aspects of life in 2018. But since accepting that the ride does not end, I’ve found myself doing a couple additional things to make it less tiring. First of all, while they may cover unenjoyable topics, I have found myself being more intentional and purposeful in my appreciation for the journalists who report the news every day. Somebody sat down and painstakingly crafted every push notification you get on your phone. That’s dedication. Reporters at the Capital Gazette put out a paper immediately after a shooting in their office. That’s heroism.

While I stay as informed as possible on timely topics, I also try to keep up with topics that I have cared about for a long time. For me, this means that I continue to read things like the New York Times Book Review and new interviews with my favorite authors. It means that I listen to the national news from NPR, but I also make time for my favorite program, All Songs Considered. It probably means something different for everyone. What makes you happy? Movies? Food? Travel? Scientific discoveries? Whatever it is, there are journalists writing about it. I have found that it’s important to me to remember that the good things still exist, even when they don’t make it to the front page.

Maybe this issue is unique to the news cycle during the Trump administration. Or maybe it will always be like this. Maybe now that we’ve made it here, we can’t go back. I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s important to be informed, now more than ever, so we have to find a way to do it. Whatever methods work for you to cope with this fatigue, I hope you can use them—and take care of yourself, and take action.

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