Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Reacting to Upsetting News Stories

It's IWSG day. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for organizing this monthly event where writers share about their writerly insecurities and other things...

In the last month, I’ve seen a variety of news stories about people, places, and things that have left me with sadness and frustration in the pit of my stomach. While there is a lot of beauty in this world, these stories remind me that ugliness, hate, and cruelty exist too.

Many times I have wanted to turn to my blog, to Twitter, and to Facebook and unload a rant. I would quietly draft what I want to say inside my head, but I don't end up following through with my intended public outcry. A few things have held me back. One, I try not to turn to the Internet when I’m emotional. Two, sometimes I feel I won't have anything original to add to a dialogue when I’m already thinking what many others are expressing on their social media. And three, my words can’t turn the clock back and prevent the terrible or horrific incident that occurred.

Maybe someday when I'm more comfortable with social media, I could be more expressive online when I come across upsetting news stories. At the same time, there is no requirement that one must reveal all their private thoughts or react to current events on their Twitter.  (But if that were the case, this could be the plot for a dystopian story.) 

We can exercise and grow awareness of issues offline too.  

How do you handle upsetting news stories?

20 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I tend to just discuss it with people I'm really close to, like family. Personally I don't want to get into discussing politics on the Internet. So I think it's okay if you don't want to as well.

Pat Hatt said...

Just use a fake persona like a cat and then rant away, you can get away with saying anything you want lol

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm with Natalie. I tend to vent more in person. Though I do post a bit more on my personal FB account. But even then I try to be discrete.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe just writing it out in your head is enough for you.
It's rare I'll talk about tragic real life events. Losing Tina was probably one of the first times I've ever done it.

ninjallamaempress said...

I agree with Alex. Maybe just writing (in your head or on your computer) is enough. You don't have to share it with the world. And besides, you're not doing it for them. You're doing it for you. You're trying to rationalize the world we live in and how you feel about the things that happen. Writing it cathartic. Write for yourself, and if you feel it may help or inspire someone else, then share!

S.P. Bowers said...

There are a lot of things that I write out but never show or even keep. Writing helps me process and come to grips with emotions and knowledge, but that doesn't mean that everyone needs to see my innermost feelings and thoughts while I'm working it out.

Cherie Reich said...

I might discuss it with family (parents and sister), but I try to keep my social media fairly neutral, although there are times I really do want to comment but decide not to.

Dianne Salerni said...

I have also been very upset about what I've seen on the news. There are so many horrible and terrifying events happening across the globe -- and other frustratingly avoidable things here in our country. I want to shake people!!!

Like you, I compose a lot of things in my head. And then I don't write them. I wish I had an answer.

Mark Means said...

I know what you mean. Many times I'll rant to my wife or my best friend. They're always good for a thoughtful ear.

I know exactly what you mean, though.

John Wiswell said...

Honestly, in the last few months I've responded to many negative stories with callousness or cowardice. Blame it on my health or my character, but I didn't feel enough for them, or was irked in the wrong ways. It was only for the horrors of Ferguson that I got off my ass and signal-boosted. That would needed to be signal-boosted.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

For every bad news I hear, I try to look for something truly beautiful. I also give thanks for all the things I'm grateful for. I do this consciously in hopes that I'm balancing away the negative in favour of positive. For every 10 bad things I hear, I think of 20 good things. I know it must sound silly, but it lightens my heart.

Silvia Villalobos said...

I really try to avoid them, but when that's impossible, I grab a book and try to go into another world. So know what you mean, too much craziness in the world, and the news is nothing if not upsetting.
Best,
Silvia
SilviaWrites

Chrys Fey said...

There is a lot of ugliness, hate, and all around bad stuff in this world. Usually, I do try to stay away from it by not watching the news much, but if I do and I see something that upsets me sometimes praying or sending out my sympathy/thoughts helps.

Jay Noel said...

I just rant to people in person. I try not to do it on FB as it gets pretty crazy, and people are jackwagons on there. At least in person, I can have a real discussion - even if the person disagrees with me.

Sherry Ellis said...

I talk to my husband about it. I tend not to join in with online rants.

Medeia Sharif said...

I discuss sensitive matters in real life, but never on the internet. I've seen too many things snowball out of control with the anonymity of being online, without the context of facial expressions or tones of voice.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've been known to just turn off the TV. I've also been known to exclaim 'We're all doomed'. In the end, I wrote a character who screams at all the bad news in the world. It doesn't help the character, but it kind of helped me. I find the best way to deal with bad news is to be very insular for a day or two.

Crystal Collier said...

You know, I completely understand. Actually, I refrain from posting or commenting on those kinds of things to try and keep my corner of the interwebs a little more positive. Regardless, I tune out when sad things come from the news. I tried to be informed, but you have to balance the bad with the good. Thus my need to escape to a book every so often. ;)

Shannon Lawrence said...

Like you, I don't join online rants about news stories. But I do talk to my husband and friends about it.

Lisa said...

I hear you loud and clear. Definitely have felt this, and do feel this. I often times just turn everything off, or watch a show I know is "safe" or read a book, just to tune out all the negativity flying around out there. I seek the positive and hope for it to keep coming on...

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