I find myself less and less able to review and comment on sad events on social media. I noticed it with the dead of the pilots of 116. No words would even come close to matching that tragedy, and why should it? Who am I? The appalling nature of it in my minds eye, the spinning and crashing and violence of it all, followed by their pain and their deaths; a like on facebook? A heart on twitter? This is my landscape? No.
It means that when something is on Facebook, I’ll scroll. Al Jazeera is on my feed, and they are real. The starving in somalia, the gaza strip, the white helments in Aleppo, it is all there to see. They will bring you to the whitened cateract of the dead child under the rubble and make no apologies for it. And it does matter. I have and will continue to contact governments, ministers, TDs for it.
But what about me? My stomach sick, my heart lowered, my mental health punched. Returning from illness means I see this all anew, and I cannot. I cannot and will not be the drama they want to create. I will not give them the adrenaline they need. I will fight for a long time, not just for a battle for them.
And the need for sensationalism is everywhere. This blog was inspired by the widower of the slain police officer in France, who’s funeral oration is posted by the Guardian, which I scrolled right past. A private and unending sorrow that my sympathy as a stranger will do nothing to allieve. I provide them with nothing by my further distress. No.
Is it maturity? Is it a move towards unfeeling conservatism, that some political commentators develop as they get older? No, it is not. If anything, it seems I am getting more reserved, and saving the reduced energy I have for what I believe in the strongest (collapse of the world order and wealth distribution, mental health provision, female rights and oops did I say that out loud). Me get older. Me now know me not wise. Me act accordingly. And onwards.