I’m constantly tuned into social media: following the news cycle, watching videos of cake frosting, cringing at the latest memes and oohing over pictures of friends’ babies.
While I do admit that I have an addiction with social media, I had originally decided that this compulsion to be “in the know” 24/7 isn’t a bad thing.
I’ve changed my mind.
2017 was a good year for me personally. I reached some new goals, became more comfortable with myself and continued treating myself to happy things.
I’d say it was my best year yet.
However, 2017 was a disaster on the national level.
We all know what the major headlines were, we lived through them. Still, people continue to ignore the warning signs leading to major catastrophe.
This year has barely begun yet it’s shaping up to be even more cringeworthy than before. It was only hours into 2018 when a former Vine “star” uploaded a video in a sacred Japanese forest which showed the body of a person who committed suicide.
Despite that atrocity occurring less than a month ago, people have already forgotten it because of the next big news story. I could list hundreds of headlines, both national and international, that have captivated our attention by sheer absurdity.
Saturday Night Live is one of the only groups who seems to thrive in these conditions, using the material that the world seems to be writing just for them.
Recently, Jessica Chastain hosted the show and they ran a skit in which she hosted a game show called, “What even matters anymore?”
Sometimes I feel like Chastain’s character, who took a swig out a wine bottle after posing a question mid-skit.
I check my news apps’ push notifications, only to find they all show the same dire news stories. Every hour, there is a new top story that only grows in insanity as the weeks go on.
If I took a drink every time I saw a negative headline describing United States politics, I’d be drunk all the time.
I’m tempted to ask myself at least once a day: really… what even matters anymore?
It feels great when my phone dies and I leave it in my room. I walk into the kitchen, pour myself a healthy glass of water, grab the popcorn and watch Antiques Roadshow.
Nothing can ruin Antiques Roadshow.
For just one hour, I don’t hear how Russia is throwing LGBT+ people in prison or how Flint still doesn’t have clean water or how the Doomsday Clock moved closer to midnight.
What is going on in the world is extremely important to me to know and understand, both as a US citizen and as a journalist. But the more often I see what’s happening, the more I want crawl into a hobbit hole and stay there.
What even matters anymore? It’s getting harder and harder each day to decide what is important.
At home, I know that spending time during the evening talking about my day with my aunt and uncle is crucial to my mental health.
The healthiness and happiness of my dogs. Reading poetry and finishing my homework assignments. Planning vacations with my mom and sisters.
Happiness still matters, especially to me.
At the IC, we don’t cover national news unless it pertains directly to University of Toledo students, which is great for my sanity.
I interview people about their passion projects, achievements and lessons learned. We do cover the negatives as well as the positives, but I like to balance my news.
If we only focus on the bad, good will never happen. Let’s hear the stories of those saved from the disasters in Montecito, a new test that could show cancer earlier on and, of course, the animals adopted from the Lucas County Humane Society.
People and their lives are what matter, so let’s try to make our world better.