Room for Thought #2

It’s Monday which means it is time for a new Room for Thought. Last week I discussed what feminism means to me and why I personally need it. This week I like to discuss a personal preference of mine. Something I can imagine a lot of people might not agree with but let me explain why I choose to do this.

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The thing that I’m referring to is keeping in touch with the news. I don’t. This may seem very ignorant and up to a certain point I agree with that. However, I always take the news very personal. When there has been another mass-murder or another terrorist-attack I get really upset. The reason why I don’t keep up with the news is because it takes away my faith in humanity. It makes me wonder about what the world is coming to and it makes me wonder if in this world I would want to raise children.

When I read or hear about people dying I start to feel sad. First and foremost because I don’t understand how one could justify taking another person’s life. It is something I’ve never understood and never will. I’m not referring to cases of self-defense. No, I’m referring to the times that people are killed as if it is as normal as taking out the trash or buying milk. It is as if these murderers have stripped away the humanity of their targets or victims and reduced them to a number, a number on their hitlist. If I don’t shut the news out I will think about every single victim, about every murdered human and what they left behind. How is their family feeling? Do they have a dog waiting for them to return? Did these murders leave children without parents or parents without children?

In that same train of thought, I get really sad when I read or hear about the refugee situation because just as those murderers dehumanize their victims, a lot of people dehumanize refugees. One thing that always becomes apparent when the news talks about the refugees is that people are so selfish. Whining about the possibilities of the refugees taking their jobs, their houses and such. These refugees are people whose home-country is not safe anymore. You are whining about something which is very improbable and therefore making that more important than a life of a living being? How dare you! These are people with families, with jobs and an education. These people worked as hard for the things they wanted in life as you and you reduce their life to nothing for your selfish needs? Once again, how dare you! I’m not going to go further into this because I’m probably going to dedicate a Room for Thought to the subject of the refugee situation.

Furthermore, the things the media tell us are selected. There is so much going on in the world that it would be impossible to keep up with everything. Still, the thought of the fact that the information that I’m ‘being fed’ is selected by an elite makes me uncomfortable. So when Paris was under a terrorist attack and we all showed support through Facebook and stuff I felt guilty when I did not know about even more horrific attacks going on at the same time but on different continents. The way the media choses to present things to us also influences the way we treat people. The fact that people are less impressed when something happens in Africa or Asia instead of in the Western world disgusts me. But then again are we really to blame when the media-outlets we depend on don’t provide as much coverage of the items when it does not happen in the West? This is why I try to stay out of it either way because in no scenario will I know the exact truth because I’m relying on subjective sources.

But it is not just the constant flow of bad news which makes me try to avoid the news. Another important factor for me is how the news shapes stories. The way minorities are represented in the news. When we take a look at the Black Lives Matter movement in Amerika and the way the media over there covers the news about black people there are a lot of issues. With the shootings of black people by police officers these victims get turned into ‘thugs’ by the media to justify the larger issue of police brutality. The pictures chosen to tell their stories trail the readers thoughts into a certain direction. The way that these horrible events are told by the media have led to the ridiculous Blue lives matter and All lives matter movements which both totally miss the point. The media and their coverage create a division between people rather than trying to unite them. Of course there are a lot more problems surrounding the way the Black Lives Matter movement is perceived but that is something to discuss another time.

Finally, the way women are portrayed in the media is for me a reason not to stay up to date. Let’s think back on the latest Olympics. While I did not keep up with the Olympics at all (for a number of reasons) I did see a lot of different articles commenting on the Olympics. One thing which stood out to me the most was this headline:

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Okay so not only did Phelps not win gold but Ledecky, a woman, set a world record and yet still ended up being the subtitle… While Phelps may be more known it is ridiculous that Ledecky’s accomplishment was apparently of less importance than Phelps silver medal. In this Cosmopolitan article they put together a list of the most sexist comments during the Olympics. Point being the way media tells the stories of women just makes me angry as if our lives still don’t matter enough.

So these were some of the reasons why I decide not to keep up with the news. Of course I’m not blind to it. I do see articles on Facebook by my national newspapers and such. At the moment I even have a trial subscription on a newspaper but I can’t say it has made me very happy (or that I’ve had the time to read them all entirely). I don’t think that I’m ignorant when it comes to the news it’s just that I try not to get too involved in all the negative things going on in the world. Because for me as a person that is just too much of a sacrifice as I take it so personally.

I hope you guys enjoyed today’s Room for Thought and be sure to let me know what you think. I’m thinking about making Room for Thought a bi-weekly feature because while I deliberately choose to not provide any scientific proof or other articles in relation to the subject, it does take a lot of time. I want to put some serious thought into these pieces because they are about real-life issues and serious subjects.

Love,
Nica

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