These days, Twitter is not only a place for me to have brain farts and not feel judged, it is also a place where I get my news from. As a millennial, there’s no shame in admitting to moving from traditional media such as T.V. and newspapers to following news channels on Twitter to read online news articles, but what I did find interesting is my behavior towards particular news items.
For instance, last week saw the U.S. experienced another school shooting which is now considered as one of the worst next to Sandy Hook mass shooting. I felt anger and frustration. That’s not surprising at all given that even Americans themselves are angry about it. What if I told you that just below the breaking news was another news update/commentary on the Philippine president joking about shooting delicate parts of the body? How did I react? I scrolled past it.
Now, there is no exact way for me to explain why I reacted differently to both news. I don’t even think that I am always aware when I do it. Both news were pertaining to violence. Granted, there were no deaths involved in our president “goofing’ about, but if we really think about it, it is this type of joke and mentality that creates an environment that dehumanizes women and children, making it easy for others to perpetrate violence against them. So we should care about both stories.
Still, how many times do we actually scroll past certain news items? Think terrorist attacks happening in the West. Then think of the controversial drug-related killings in the Philippines. Think about the death toll rising in wars in the Middle East and possible genocide of minorities in other parts of the world. The Brexit, racial debates, and tense international relations. What else happened in our respective countries? Which ones did we click on? Or shared with our friends?
Perhaps, it’s not necessarily wrong if we read more about particular stories and not all. After all, there is only so much we can digest before the news starts to depress us, not to mention that we also have our own problems to attend to.
The next time you get worked up when you see the headline, ask yourself why. Look at the other headlines, ask again if anything sounds similar. We can also ask friends and family about how they feel. We may get to pick and choose which news story to follow, but at least we are aware of our own actions. Maybe someday, by doing so, our understanding of the world around us and how certain events resonate with us will help us figure out how to channel our own frustrations into better ways for helping our communities and ourselves.
And from now on, I too shall practice mindful ways of scrolling through my twitter feed. #