After school the rush to get home was palpable, mostly for those blissful moments from 4.30 to 6pm when the TV was mine and mine alone. All those childhood programmes I consumed and which still hold a special place in my pop culture heart; Battle of the Planets, Dungeons & Dragons (did those kids ever get home?), Grange Hill, Bananaman, Super Gran, Tony Hart, the list is long.
And every evening, inevitably, along came 6pm and it was time for The News. It was all very serious and boring and for grownups, so I’d take my cue and head to my bedroom to escape.
I did the same yesterday, or at least the 2020 equivalent, and stopped checking social media completely. It’s a tactic I’ve used before and one which I’m starting to use more and more.
Whilst I happily publish to social media, I tend not to post opinions that are singularly mine, preferring to share views and thoughts that I endorse. Beyond that I tend to post things that are silly or funny, things (I think are) thought provoking, or just photos of nice things I’ve seen/cute pics of the dogs.
OK, it’s MOSTLY cute pics of the dogs, shut up.
Yet the current pile-on culture is just so far removed from how I want to act that I find it more and more bewildering and so I turn away from social media more and more often.
So many people are posting – to use the most recent example – about how disgusting and awful and terrible the actions Dominic Cummings took (and I agree). But as the media circus descends, it quickly becomes a tiny echo chamber as more and more people shout and holler and wail, and very quickly it’s no longer news. It’s just noise.
My opinion, posted on Facebook or Twitter, will not change the mind of the people involved.
My opinion, posted on Facebook or Twitter, will not add any more weight to the volume of people calling for action.
My opinion, posted on Facebook or Twitter, just adds to the noise.
And, in this current example, I find myself looking around for the leaders, the voices I expect to hear speaking up about this. Be they Tories supporting or vilifying Mr. Cummings, or anyone in the opposite parties taking a stand, these are the voices I want to listen to. Those voices should be news.
Except they aren’t. Not any more.
With each new generation of politicians comes another swathe of self-interested, self-promoting, egotistical morons. Yes, it’s the system we have but the more often I vote the more I realise the choices are slimmer and slimmer and quickly become one evil over another (but I will still always vote!).
I guess my tolerance for all of that noise is just getting lower and lower and, all took quickly I find it all a bit much. Or perhaps it’s not too quickly at all, perhaps it’s right that I run out of patience and interest sooner than I have in the past, perhaps after spending 20+ years online I’m finally learning to step away when I should.
I strive for a simple happy life, and for the most part I have one that is all those things and more. Away from the screens there is much love and laughter, and I’m more and more content to just enjoy those moments.
So I turn off the news.
I mute the noise.
And maybe tomorrow I will have the desire to turn it back on.