This is going to be a long one. Strap yourselves in, for this will be one of the more serious posts I’ve been talking about. Your capacity to accept other people’s opinions will be tested, quite to the limit actually.
There is a medium sized list of things that annoy the ever living f**k out of me, but none of them is more prevalent than anything related to political talks, politicians etc. And tied with that are the people that think they are so much better than others for reading every piece of news and being “informed”. You see, you should feel ashamed for not caring enough and being ignorant. Here’s a clue. There is NO difference between me, the guy who doesn’t watch the news and is an ignorant person, and you, the person who watches the news and is not ignorant. You want to know why? Because, even if you know everything that is going on in the world at this very moment, chances are you can’t do anything about it. Or you could, but you don’t, because you’ve satisfied your ego once you hit that share button. And no, raising awareness and whoring for likes will not change anything in those places.
I fell into this trap of getting too involved in news in the last two years, but I am slowly getting away from it all for a plethora of reasons. Which I shall list:
1. News only focus on the bad things
Yeah, when watching the news you’ll only see the bad parts. And it will make you think the world is in a worse state than it actually is. This is psychological, since news that elicit anxiety or anger are more likely to trigger the audience into watching/reading the news piece.
2. News are biased
It doesn’t matter how much a 24 hour news network labels itself as neutral. These news pieces are edited and looked over by at least 1 person. And either consciously or subconsciously, that person will add his own personal views in the way the news piece is projected in the end.
3. Political discussions are just…tiresome
There were some studies which have shown that American people were actually tired of politics in 2016. I don’t know how true they are, you can Google it and find out. But who could blame them. I’m not American and I was so damn tired of hearing about the 2016 elections in the US, I had to switch off from ever browsing 9gag. And imgur is slowly but surely going in the same direction.
I’ve never really understood how people can listen to a political discussion for more than 2 minutes without wanting to punch the TV or radio. It’s the same cat and mouse game where one or more people from one side accuse one or more people from another side of sucking the life out of the country and how if they were elected, the situation would be different.
4. Everyone HAS to have an opinion…which they plaster all over Facebook (and LinkedIN, more recently)
This one’s even more of a nuisance. Everybody is an armchair politician and knows exactly what’s wrong with their country and they go on and on about how this needs to change and how he/she sees things. And people just go on and on…and on. But when the time comes to actually walk the walk, people don’t go out to vote because “eh, nothing’s gonna change anyway”.
5. Celebrities that tell people who to vote for
From the video made by Joss Whedon which seems like a desperate attempt for him to have his third Avengers movie to Bono going on a rant against Donald Trump in the middle of a concert (seriously, in the middle of a freaking concert, where people go to listen to you SING, NOT RANT!), I am getting sick and tired of these people telling others what to do and expecting them to actually do it. This seems more prevalent in the US, I don’t know if it’s because they get more coverage there these celebrities, but come on, it became so annoying and pathetic. I was also baffled at some of these celebrities’ narcissism, when they went public saying that they would leave the country if Donald Trump won the elections. Just…who the f**k do you think you are? Stick to your entertainment, you people are way too out of touch with reality to actually know how it feels to be a member of the working class. And this is available in any country, not just the US.
6. People who complain but don’t raise a finger to change anything
Let’s be honest, everyone complains about something once in a while. But if all you do is complain and you don’t at least try and change something by yourself, don’t expect the people in charge to change. Why would they? If all you do is complain, for them it’s white noise. They don’t care because you don’t care. It’s like George Carlin said. Politicians don’t come from another dimension full of good people but then turn bad because they come to our Earth. They are chosen from the same country as you. If that country is full of selfish people, why in Heaven’s name would you think your leaders would be any different? This is a rule that applies to every country.
7. People don’t realize they have to take some responsibility for their lives
People are always looking for others to blame for their lives. If it’s not their parents, it’s their teachers. If it’s not their teachers, it’s their bosses. If it’s not their bosses, it’s the country leaders. And personally I am sick of it. It’s time to take some responsibility for your own lives. And for the situation you are in. People always complain about their jobs, but don’t change them. People always complain about politicians, but then don’t go out and vote. You give up the right to complain about something when you DON’T DO A DAMN THING TO CHANGE IT!
As I’ve said, you can’t expect change if you don’t change. Vicious circle? Maybe, but change has to be started by someone or by something. You want clean and honest politicians? Are you as honest as you can be? Do you always vote? You never jaywalk, ride the bus without paying, go over the speed limit, cut someone in traffic, throw litter on the ground, slack off work, fiddle with your phone in meetings etc? Oh, you do at least one of these things? Then shut up. Or, don’t shut up, but don’t expect people to be these God like beings to you when you are no saint. Otherwise, you just come across as a hypocrite.
8. Being ACTUALLY informed eats up all of your time
Say you have 5 news subjects. In my personal opinion, if you want to be actually informed, you have to read at least 3 pieces about it. One should be from your point of view. One should be from an opposing point of view. And one should be neutral, whatever these beliefs may be for you. And after that, you should be able to have an informed opinion about something. In short, you’d have 5 informed opinions about 5 news subjects after having read 15 or so news articles or reports. I am actually burned out from only thinking about how much this takes.
And no, reading only articles that feed your own biases is not called “being informed”. And no, as I’ve said, you’re not better than me if you’re informed about stuff OUTSIDE of your local area (local stuff actually has an impact on your life. I wonder how many people will read this line before commenting). You did however waste a chunk of precious time which could have been used to better the world around you by you either volunteering to do something or becoming better at what your work and being able to better the world through your expertise.
9. If you truly cannot breathe without raising awareness, raise awareness of ways to help
Mindlessly sharing articles about bad stuff happening without providing a solution or a way of help that is public (e.g. a donation account, a place where you can donate clothes or food etc.) is pointless.
10. You won’t change people’s minds
People’s opinions are notoriously difficult to change. Each and every time you try to change someone’s opinion, he’ll hold on to it with even more stubborness. You’re wasting precious time and energy trying to convince someones his opinion is wrong. Opinions are not facts, they can’t be wrong or right. They just are. The decisions you make based on your opinions may be good or bad of course, but people need to stop trying to change one’s opinion, especially by flooding people’s news feeds with political posts.
I will always vote as long as the system allows me to. I will however NOT write anything political on this blog (aside from this one I guess). Why? Because I’m sick to my stomach of political talks. And I don’t want to be the person that complains about this while writing about my political beliefs and engaging in political talk. While it is virtually impossible to avoid mentioning the word “politics”, don’t expect any posts on political events from me. You have your Facebook friends for that.
I am very certain that, save for a few moments, the only one responsible for my current predicament and situation in life is me. If I cut someone in traffic and then that guy scratches my car because I didn’t leave enough space, that’s MY fault. If I don’t vote and someone I don’t want win, then that is my fault (and everyone else who didn’t vote’s fault as well).