They say ignorance is bliss and I’m starting to believe it. For a journ-alist by trade, this is a humiliating volte face. I always thought knowledge was power, that forewarned was forearmed. I based my career on sticking my nose into as many people’s business as I could in the belief that the truth would set us free. But I am starting to wonder.
When the news is so terrifying, watching it or reading all about it was always going to be torture. But social media and the ravenous Twitter beast has made the situation a million times worse.
For if hysteria has not set in naturally by the time you’ve looked at Sky News or Mail Online as you butter your toast in the morning, then it surely will by the time you’ve checked your Facebook and Twitter accounts and allowed everyone you know and dozens more you don’t to wind you up into a frenzy of panic and indignation.
This is the medium we exist in. I know that. Donald Trump’s election, like Brexit, put those of us who like to disagree with the cosy consensus in a difficult position. Supporting both, I felt as if I was wading into an ever-growing tide of online hys-teria rushing back at me.
At times, it felt as though I would be drowned in the tidal wave of bile and hatred. But I persisted in belligerently arguing my way through both events because I genuinely believed what I was saying.
However, when millions of people around the world refused to accept the result of the US Presidential election I think I just sort of gave up. Something in me snapped. Or rather collapsed. I couldn’t face any of it. At the beginning of the year, I simply stopped watching the news. I know it sounds odd. But I felt I didn’t have the strength to argue any more. It was as if I had become allergic. I had developed a news intolerance.
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