Turning off the outrage
September 1, 2014 10:12 PM Subscribe
How do I deal with my constant sense of outrage at things happening in the world? It's starting to take a toll on my health and stress levels.
posted by naju to Society & Culture (35 answers total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
The amount of things that have happened during the summer of 2014 that are worth getting incredibly upset about keep piling up. Ferguson, Elliot Rodger, Hobby Lobby, gamers, Gaza, it never quite ends. And I think it will only get worse. If you care about these issues and have passionate views on them, they can be incredibly upsetting to read up on and engage with online. (There's also a rapidly growing internet industry that counts on my and others' constant concern for its success, and I sometimes wonder whether I'm being manipulated by it.) This summer in particular has felt like endless social justice frustration for me, and I feel more stressed out and tensed up about it than ever before. I fear I'm becoming a less fun and easygoing person as a result. Anger and frustration with the status quo can be a useful force for change, but I don't think my particular outrage is doing much to benefit anyone. I can count on one hand the number of people whose minds I've changed. Meanwhile, I think the compounded stress and time spent reading this stuff is harming my life. On one hand I want to disengage (but I don't even know how.) And on the other hand, a voice is telling me that not engaging is equivalent to apathy and "siding with the bad guys," so to speak. There's also another voice telling me that I have the privilege and luxury to turn it off, while others don't. I'm not sure. I need to figure out how to navigate all this and give myself some peace of mind.