When news is presented to me, I probe deeply. I scratch the surface, investigate. I try to look for the sources. To verify, as far as possible, that what is claimed was said or done was actually said or done. I dig deep, and read what others pass over. And I have read shocking and painful things.
But speak of these matters and your companions will dismissively respond: “Don’t believe everything you read,” or, “You clearly have too much time on your hands.”
Because what I discovered does not conform to popularism. It does not confirm their politics. It does not reconfirm their biases. It does not fit the sectarian agenda, or the narrative they wish to promulgate.
And ultimately I drive myself to silence, recognising that these are not battles for nobodies, who have no influence or clout. At best we can say, “Just hold on a minute,” knowing full well that such a pause for thought is meaningless.
Ultimately I will tell myself that silence is the best response, to the thousands of shares, likes and reposts that amplify every claim, however spurious, multiplying its impact worldwide. And so I self-censor and take it all back, deleting my posts and comments.
And probably I will stop probing and investigating eventually. I have already withdrawn from the news cycle. Paired down my list of contacts. Averted my eyes from all that is current. I used to deride the apathetic. Now I agree with them: ignorance is bliss.