Pervasive Politics Are Straining Energized Activism
February 15, 2017
For many who oppose President Donald Trump, this is a terrifying time to be an informed citizen. It is also an exhausting one. The rise of the internet and social media has birthed a new, frenetic news cycle — one that does not let people stop to catch their breath.
As a result of the volatile goings-on in Washington, politics has become borderless, seeping into every aspect of life. Events such as the Grammy’s and the Super Bowl — typically apolitical affairs — have ceased to be so. Nowadays, it is difficult to find the sort of useful escapism that is necessary to recharge and function healthily. In fact, some fear that because of the rapid and continuous stream of new information pouring onto our Twitter feeds, there is actually no time for peace and quiet.
The disappearance of escapism is an inevitable reaction to a White House so embroiled in darkness that top security officials fear the West Wing has been compromised. But the real catalyst for the problem is the internet. The seismic impact that social media and the web have on the brain cannot be understated. We crave information and immediacy, and we have an administration poised to cater to those instincts in the most disturbing ways.
For those of us trying to resist the onslaught of pernicious activity emanating from the U.S. government, staying in the know is only the first step — a prerequisite for effective activism. But a knowledgeable citizenry is only a formidable one if it preserves its energy. Because of these heightened stakes and draining news cycles, it is vital to take time to disconnect periodically, if only for your own sanity. The constant deluge of news will continue to permeate across every facet of life, making each moment seem dire and the non-political seem inconsequential. But we need to keep in the front of our minds the reality that this will likely be a marathon run at a sprint, and we are barely at the mile mark. There is a long way to go, and we don’t want to collapse before we get to the end.
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Email Nate Torto at email@example.com.