“Hi everyone, my name is Markus and I am an addict.” “Hello Markus”, reply the voices in my head.
I may have a problem.
When I started travelling three years ago, one of the first things I did was to stop keeping up with the news. I got rid of all my news apps, deleted all my bookmarks and cleaned up my browser history. Now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems I’m right back where I started.
Sure, there are lots of stuff going on out there. But why do I have this crazy urge to keep track of every second of it? Am I going to jump into the PPE that I totally do not have and start tending to hospital patients? Not fucking likely. Even if I did, what would I do there anyway? I’m not trained for this, I’m just some dude rambling on an internet blog.
You know why I think I keep watching the news? It gives me a pleasurable illusion for a few seconds, in which it seems that I’m on top of things, instead of staring into an empty void most of the time. And yeah, it feels great while I’m doing it. But it also makes things all the emptier when I switch it off. So I switch it on again, but every time I need more to feel satisfied.
And yes, it does sound a lot like jacking off, thank you for noticing. But you know, come to think of it, it actually really is that. Because when I really come down to it, watching the news does nothing for me. Absolutely zero.
Think about it. If things get a lot worse, then I’ll know. People will tell me about it for one, but just looking outside my window will probably tell me that shit is going down. If things get better – same story, really.
For most people out there, this is probably even more true than for me. Because they have a boss who is going to call them in. Especially if you work in retail, hospitality, or anywhere in the service industry, you can bet your ass your boss is going to ring you up at the slightest whiff of COVID-19 not being a thing anymore.
I don’t know. Point is, the news suck. Sure, you can get a rise out of them for a bit. But all they’ll really do is drain what little meaning these days still hold. Next time I feel that itch, maybe I’ll do pushups instead. Or color something in. Maybe I’ll surprise myself, who knows.