Thanks to our friend and #digitaldetectivesquad member, Cindy Minich, for sharing this article with us! There’s much to unpack here, but we’re especially interested in the idea of “Headline Distress Disorder” and how the constant exposure to information that triggers stress affects us as humans. This quote stood out to us:
“The problem is, I wasn’t taking action. The dismay was paralyzing. It’s not like I was reading about yet another school shooting and then firing off an email to my member of Congress. No, I’d read too many stories about the dysfunction in Congress to think that would matter. All individual actions felt pointless once I was done reading the news. Mostly, I was just marinating in despair.”
Marinating in despair!? Gosh, does that sound familiar. We think the author Amanda Ripley is onto something. And we also strongly recommend her book High Conflict which isn’t specifically about the news but explores how some people have gone about ending cycles of conflict. Ripley’s deep dive into how humans get stuck on emotional hamster wheels of all consuming conflict parallels are approach to information literacy in several important ways.