…but I’m definitely cursing. I don’t know how to begin.

To begin anything. What’s the way forward? For a few more too-brief hours the Commander-in-Chief is a brilliant, qualified, thoughtful, ethical, moral man. And then.

The firehose that’s been spraying us with shit for the last nine weeks is probably certainly about to ratchet up to a new intensity.

Over those nine weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to engage with the internet, in particular, going forward. How to choose what enters my brain, how to avoid being sucked into the morass of anger and fear and hate and likes and clicks and rageface emojis.

It’s mostly social media I’m talking about, and facebook, specifically. There are a bunch of things I love about being able to connect with people I rarely get to see, but those are becoming increasingly outweighed by all the things above and especially sensational(ly bad) headlines from ridiculous sources. It’s too much, most of the time, and I often just nope my way on out.

The purpose of one of the tattoos on my arm is to remind me that I have to choose where my attention goes. I believe I have certain obligations to my fellow humans, of course, and as an inhabitant of the earth, but I get to ultimately decide where my eyeballs and ears and brain cells turn.

How do we choose in an era of increasing distractions and noise?

Step one: I’m going to be more specific about why I’m choosing what I’m choosing.  I’m starting here and on facebook with one of the causes that is most important to me. It also happens to be at risk right now: journalism. Good journalism. Investigative reporting. Long-form writing in struggling publications. Yeah, that hard to read stuff that makes you think. I’m not expecting my enthusiasm for crime novels and thrillers to wane at all, but I do want to be a little more mindful of the balance I’m striking in my written-word consumption.

So here’s my pledge, on this night before the apocalypse. I’m pledging now to myself to focus my online attention on good journalism. On writers digging deep and doing the work. I’m going to share the things I want others to share with me–work that is important, is human, is making this world a more just, equitable, kind place. I’m subscribing to as many publications doing this work as I can afford. And writing more myself, as my little candle of light to push some of the darkness away.

Once more unto the breach, friends.

 

*said Eleanor Roosevelt, who feels appropriate to channel right now.