A society burnt out on news we can’t handle

DID you know that individually, we absorb the same amount of information in one week that a person used to absorb in a lifetime 100 years ago?

Think about that for a moment.

All of the messages we receive from the world – all of the newspaper stories, the television programs, the radio shows, emails, tweets, Facebook updates, mobile phone messages, phone conversations – they are coming at us in such high volume that we process in one day what our ancestors processed in a decade.


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No wonder we’re a society burnt out. It’s taking its toll.

And I have to confess to being one of “those people” – the ones that make a purposeful effort to avoid “the news”.

I know, it’s so clichéd. But I’ve found that I have to actively try and avoid radio news bulletins, newspapers and nightly TV news programs because I’m getting too cynical and depressed.

It’s quite easy to switch off to the news off the world if you really try – instead, I’ve started reading more books.

I just finished a brilliant book by Kristin Hannah, called Winter Garden. She’s an incredible writer and I was moved to tears by this historical fiction, which is set in between the present day and World War II in Russia.

One scene stands out (it doesn’t ruin the plot to share this, for those who plan on reading it – which I highly recommend you do!). In it, a mother thinly slices and cooks half an onion.

As it’s war time, and their city and people are under attack, they are surviving on the slimmest of rations. And so on this morning, it is an absolute treat for the family that they get to enjoy a meal of half an onion between four of them.

I can’t even begin to contemplate imagining that reality. So I consoled myself with the thought that World War II ended 70 years ago.

Then I hopped onto MyGC, and read the latest headlines about the Ukraine. In the last week, scores have been injured and killed as fighting ramps again, ending the ceasefire that was negotiated last September.

Of course, it’s easy to avoid to news. But to enjoy my hearty dinner with my family tonight, by burying my head in the sand and pretending the atrocities of the world don’t exist?

Well, that’s just impossible.

[signoff icon=”icon-thumbs-up”]The Meddler

Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a larger audience. And earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words, please supply contact details including a phone number. The Meddler reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please send to news@mygc.com.au [/signoff]

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