Bubblewrap and overwhelm.
Is it bad if I want to insulate myself from the buzzing news cycle with a bubble wrap of silence?
Because - confession - I really haven't been reading the news much lately. When it comes to writing this newsletter every week, Zara is armed with a bevy of 'reads' to recommend to you all. As far as I can tell, she's been squeezing intellectual articles into every nook and cranny of her downtime. Her trusty pals the New York Times and The Atlantic have got her across what's what. She's got her "smart woman" cap on. She's raring to go.
Me? Not so much. While my love of books and short stories has gone untouched, at the moment I just don't find myself clicking onto news stories. I haven't picked up a Sunday paper in a really, really long time. The thought of scrolling through Apple News every morning makes my eyes glaze over with malaise.
The articles that pop up on my Facebook feed stink of recycled ideas that I feel I've read before, and - if they're not rehashed concepts from 2017 - what's left feels hopelessly dreary.
Sometimes it feels like the news cycle is a never-ending loop of murder, sick kid, celebrity divorce, medical miracle, misbehaving athlete, imbecile politician, sexual assault case. Repeat, repeat, repeat, probably until you spontaneously combust and die.
I honestly don't know what to do with these stories anymore; how do you walk around with so much unrelenting grief and horror without feeling like a weight is shackled to your ankles?
So, when the inevitable "do you have any 'reads' recommendations?" conversation pops up, I find myself debating back and forth as to whether or not a well-written Instagram caption will suffice, or if that funny copy on the back of my kombucha bottle counts (it doesn't). I'm partly embarrassed that I'm not across things more - that I'm not filling my mind with ideas and hot-takes on the news cycle every day - but it's just the truth. I'm a little overwhelmed right now, and there's not enough room in my life for every panicked update and push notification.
Am I alone in this - or is there a raft of millennials and Gen Zers who are pulling away from the news cycle?
I'd remove all this bubble wrap and try to find out, but it's damn cosy in here.