I sometimes go days without any news. I skip commercials via Tivo, and I don’t always read blogs every day, and I unsubscribed from CNN because their RSS feeds had headlines and no news, and I had to go to the site, and they posted about fifteen billion times a day, thereby defeating the purpose of using an RSS reader.
I have ordered my life in such a way that, unless I invite it into my brain, I do not *need* to receive information, because in my cynical view, “information” all too often equates “advertising” which is something I just don’t need. Of course I miss things– often. Usually, people will poke me twice if something is important enough.
So it was that on Monday evening after Spanish class, I overheard the waiter say something about “the shooter” and my husband dispelled my subsequent confusion by explaining that there’d been a bloodbath in Virginia.
Never have I been so grateful to be disconnected.
The world around me mourns, and I do not have the severe, visceral reactions I would have if I’d felt compelled to watch the video shot on-scene (truly, is there not a responsibility to put our phones away and allow the world to turn away? did the world need this kind of snuff film?) At my Toastmasters meeting today, we had a moment of silence in honor of the victims, but also of the victims of violence in Iraq. As in most such moments of silence and reflection and prayer, I had no idea what to do with myself and sat looking around and thinking about other things.
It’s a good example of how completely unaffected by the shooting I feel, but I wonder if I *should* feel more strongly.
I suspect some of my disconnect is from my childhood. A local school had one of the earliest school shootings– by a woman from the community, not a student– when I was in high school, and I think I just sort of formed a view that the world includes this kind of violence, along with gangs, rape, kidnappings, and domestic abuse. While we’re all outraged by these shootings, why are we so much less outraged by the rest?