[personal profile] ewt
"Now there's this about cynicism. It's the universe's most supine moral position. Real comfortable. If nothing can be done, then you're not some kind of shit for not doing it, and you can lie there and stink to yourself in perfect peace." - from Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold

From comments on this entry.

How do you respond to bad-news fatigue?

Date: 2008-09-14 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 403.livejournal.com
Bad news sells, so that's what the news reports contain. I limit my exposure by only checking on it every week or so. If anything changes radically within a day, I'm sure that one of my friends will post about it.

Date: 2008-09-14 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martling.livejournal.com
I do this too, but I always worry that it doesn't scale - if everyone does it, nobody will post!

Date: 2008-09-14 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 403.livejournal.com
So long as our news/no news cycles aren't synchronized, then I figure it works well enough.

Date: 2008-09-14 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] martling.livejournal.com
Um. Yeah, about that. I, er, sorta started doing it permanently?

Date: 2008-09-14 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fjm.livejournal.com
Hmm.

It strikes me though that many of those responses listed are a response not to someone doing something, but someone raging as if raging is doing something. Raging can be as supine as cynicism. It is exactly when I rage, that I do least.

My own reaction to bad-news fatigue is to try to work out what little I can do without it turning into a moral or judgemental choice. The best example I can give is my exhaustion with the homeless. I can't give to everyone. The day I ended up with empty pockets when I had started with around £50 was the day I called a halt. I refuse to get in to the whole thing about deservingness, and just giving to a charity is not something that those in need can see (they just see someone walking by), so now I give only at night. That is when people are most vulnerable, most need to get off the streets, and when most punters are likely to walk nervously by.

Date: 2008-09-14 06:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catamorphism.livejournal.com
I think when you're actually doing some kind of direct public service, news crosses over into the real and stops being something that happens to other people and that other people report on. "Bad news fatigue" is a side effect of not having any genuine emotional involvement with people outside your own circle, AFAICT. Sure, you get bored when you didn't care in the first place. But genuine outrage doesn't run dry.

Date: 2008-09-16 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 403.livejournal.com
There's also an aspect of being aware of something but not necessarily being able to do anything about it. I know enough people from different walks of life that world events have a way of being personal. (The London bombings, for example. Or the Kosovo independance movement. Or the ongoing unrest in Somalia.) Just because one cares, doesn't mean that there's an endless font of emotional energy.

Date: 2008-09-16 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ewtikins.livejournal.com
I get this a lot with US politics.

Date: 2008-09-14 07:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crankles.livejournal.com
Hmm. I've never tried to put it in words.

For example: the US Presidential Election, the gas/housing/economic crisis, global warming, ethical food consumption, etc. I saw the need to pick a path. I researched. I made my decision. Now I'm not reading any more news stories about it because they will not add to my ability to make positive change. They'll only stress me out. Usually they don't contain anything new, though sometimes if I see something significantly different in a headline, I'll read the article.

This is lots easier if you don't watch TV because you have greater control over what you absorb.

I hope that makes sense. I don't think that's quite what the original article you linked to was getting at, but that's what "bad news fatigue" makes me think of.

Date: 2008-09-14 07:08 am (UTC)
nitoda: sparkly running deer, one of which has exploded into stars (Default)
From: [personal profile] nitoda
I got bad news fatigue many many years ago and basically avoid most of it now. I do things like belonging to Amnesty because I believe in and want to support their work for human rights but *never* reading their journal because I find it too deeply upsetting. I guess if there was an *easy* way to help I'd take it up on some issues, but there are so many issues and so little time and energy for putting the world to rights. I try to concentrate efforts I make into areas of real personal concern to me: e.g. helping with Depend (http://www.depend.org.uk), National Autistic Society and more local stuff like my employer's LGBT network and the overall Civil Service LGBT organisation Civil Service Rainbow Alliance, along with a certain amount of other Bi and Poly activism at a local level.

Date: 2008-09-14 09:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anotherusedpage.livejournal.com
All my philosophy are come from pop-culture:

"When nothing you do matters, the only thing that matters is what you do." A quote from Angel. *smile*

You do what you can, when you can. Because that's all you can do, and it's more than some do, and it has to be enough.

Date: 2008-09-14 12:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arkady.livejournal.com
It depends on the source. If it's the same person ranting and raving about the same old issue, I start to skip over reading their posts. Eventually I might even drop them from my default view if they bore me enough.

I really don't see the point of continually ranting about the same old subject, particularly when the ranter(s) in question aren't doing anything about the situation in question, only ranting about it. That's a pointless waste of energy.

Date: 2008-09-14 12:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplekaz.livejournal.com
I really don't see the point of continually ranting about the same old subject, particularly when the ranter(s) in question aren't doing anything about the situation in question, only ranting about it. That's a pointless waste of energy.

Bizarrely, I just wrote my own post about that about five minutes ago! See, the trouble is, what if you are stuck in a situation (a personal situation, not world news) and you have tried over and over again to change it, yet it still goes wrong? My reason for constant ranting about the same subject is that I have really made the effort and made investigations as to how to better the situation, yet I always end up back at square one. What is a person meant to do in such a situation? :(

Date: 2008-09-14 12:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arkady.livejournal.com
Personally? In that situation, I rant in private locked posts. Then again, I'm not really given to ranting that much; if the situation is such that nothing can be done about it, I try to save my energy and focus on other areas where I can make changes. Dwelling too much on stuff you can't change only leads to depression, I find.
Edited Date: 2008-09-14 12:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-09-14 12:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplekaz.livejournal.com
Oh okay, fair enough then. Mine are all in locked posts anyway, although I'm sure people are still sick of reading them anyway...

Date: 2008-09-14 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplekaz.livejournal.com
There has to be bad news in order to sell papers anyway. If nothing bad happened, there'd be a lack of outraged people and the Daily Fail would have to close down. Oh, wait...

Date: 2008-09-14 06:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] friend-of-tofu.livejournal.com
Not sure I agree.

One can be cynical about motives without thinking that there is no useful response to negative actions.

Date: 2008-09-15 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] feanelwa.livejournal.com
By being nice to people* until somebody in return convinces me that there is some good in the world.

*bad drivers and selfish morons not included

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