I’ve made a concerted effort this year to divest from the 24-hour news cycle—a much harder task than I had anticipated. With smartphones in our pockets, radios in our cars, and multiple televisions in our homes, unearthing ourselves from the daily avalanche of information can be a job. I started small: I unfollowed all news organizations on social media. I unfavorited news channels on my cable menu. I even deleted the Facebook and Huffington Post apps on my phone. Small measures, but they’ve helped.
And there’s some scholarship to back me up. According to a 2019 report by the American Psychological Association, two-thirds of Americans are under emotional strain because of the perpetual news cycle. Dr. Steven Stosny, a Washington, DC-based therapist, even coined the phrase “headline stress disorder. ” The struggle, folks, is real.
But burying our heads in the sand isn’t the right answer either. With 2020 being an election year, there’s too much on the line for us to turn a blind eye. “Let’s Stop Fighting over Climate Change, “ is the first installment of our new column by Patrick Carolan, director of Catholic outreach for Vote Common Good. Starting with this issue and through November, Patrick will tackle the most important issues facing conscientious voters—deconstructed through a Franciscan lens. We think you’ll like his writing.
It’s easy to lose heart at the state of our country and the world, but this quote from Pope Francis could bring us to a place of peace: “There is never a reason to lose hope. Jesus says: ‘I am with you until the end of the world.’ “