This morning I think I broke my brain.
There I was, scrolling through Facebook on my phone, when suddenly I heard a pop! And a boing! And a kerplow!
If I had to guess, I’d say one of my brain springs came loose and ricocheted around until coming to rest in the “I can’t take it anymore” lobe. Hard to say for sure, I’m no brain doctor, you know.
I should have seen it coming. All the warning signs were there. The eye twitches. The throbbing temples. The Tourette’s-like outbursts. “Arugula!”
I’m pretty disappointed. I could have sworn my brain had a larger capacity than than that. Who could have predicted I would have used up the last of my information storage on an article about a porcupine who got rescued from a nightclub and had a miniature wheelchair made from PVC plumbing pipe?
Lately it seems my Facebook feed Is saturated with information; much of it being more significant than a paraplegic porcupine. Politics. The economy. Racism. Sexism. Religion.
Article after article filled with things about which I should care, have an opinion, cry tears of joy, have passionate diatribes. And often I do. And then I feel frazzled, drained, and sometimes a little ugly inside.
I’m old enough to remember a time when the news came from a daily paper and the nightly broadcast on one of the big 3. I grew up in a town with a weekly edition of all we needed to know.
When a topic of interest arose, I would read a book about it. Maybe two.
These days I get whiplash from the multitudes of topics vying for my attention. “You should care about this issue!” “You should care about THIS issue!” “Why don’t you care about THIS issue?!?”
And I do. Sort of. As much as I can in that moment until the next article appears in my feed.
Facebook is a unique source of information also because I have a diverse group of friends.
I have conservatives and liberals posting opposing viewpoints, comical lampoons of the ideologies of the other side.
I have vegan friends and hunters.
I have those who post scripture and those who post rants about religious fanaticism. Or worse- mocking people of faith.
I have dire warnings of global warming and those who choose to live in denial of reality simply because they don’t trust the source from which those warnings are coming and don’t like the potential compromises that must be made if accepted as fact.
I have articles about tragedies, and commenters who diminish those tragedies by comparing them to something worse. (“Well sure, 5 people died, but it’s no holocaust. ” )
There’s a continent of trash floating in the ocean. The ice caps are melting. Benghazi! Capitalism is dying. Capitalism is killing. Help the poor! Leave the rich alone! Everyone hates Obama! Everyone hates republicans! Everyone hates the Supreme Court! Gay rights! Gay agenda! Benghazi! It’s racism! Stop calling everything racism! Our food was made in a lab and we’re all poisoning ourselves! Walmart is the devil! Fox News is the devil! Obamacare is the first sign of the apocalypse! Benghazi!
Because I find myself in the middle of most issues, some might call me a fence sitter. Maybe so, but I have found over the years that my natural instinct to pick a side and fight to the death over it has left me on the wrong side of many discussions. Truth be known, at the end of these debates I often feel there is no right side- just a lot of anger.
I have chosen in recent years to try to see the merits of both sides and look for a reasonable middle ground.
That’s not an easy task these days. News isn’t disseminated, opinions on events are mostly what we see. They are reported with great urgency, and every issue requires a response. It’s exhausting.
And today it broke my brain.
I dont think it’s permanent, but I do believe I need some recovery time. I need to read a book that lets me escape. I need to take another mind-cleansing walk. I need to play a board game with my bored kids. I need music and laughter.
The problems of the world can be dealt with another day. It’s not like they’re going anywhere anyways. And there will be a dozen new ones the next time I look.