Stay Informed Even When Overwhelmed

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When the news cycle is a perpetual downer, it’s easy to find yourself fatigued. Trying to stay informed can easily transition into trying to unclench your fists or fight back tears.

Lately, the editorial board of The Fordham Ram has found staying in the know to be an equally arduous and distressing task. We venture a guess that you may feel similarly.

One push notification makes its predecessor seem like small potatoes, and yesterday’s headlines wash away as others flood in.

This pattern is pervasive and unlikely to let up; for every temporary lull, there is an overload to follow.

As a result, many people (ourselves included) find themselves daunted, perhaps despondent, by the sheer amount of content there is to consume. It all seems so important, but there are only so many hours in the day.

While escaping the news altogether may have a certain allure, it is neither responsible nor productive. Instead of a deliberate avoidance, the editorial board of The Fordham Ram encourages you to pay attention in a way that is personally palatable.

Bearing responsibilities and time restrictions in mind, it is unreasonable to expect everyone to incessantly scroll through news feeds, leaving no update unread. Even journalists whose job description necessitates staying up to date can get lost amidst the deluge.

Given its unattainable nature, we are not advocating a leave-no-stone-unturned approach. Rather, the editorial board of The Fordham Ram sees it as imperative to carve out the time—however limited or lengthy it may be—to follow what is happening in the world around us.

There is no one right way to stay informed. One news-gathering strategy is no better than the next, so long as that initial action is taken. We believe every member of the Fordham community is capable of taking that step.

Whether it be a segment of your morning commute or a catch-up before going to bed, there is almost always a chunk of idle time you can delegate to news consumption.

Deciding to turn off Netflix autoplay and turn to an article instead may not be appealing at first, but, after a while, you’ll likely be happier for picking up the habit.
Daily email briefings sent to your inbox provide an uncomplicated gateway into the news.

By consuming the information that is most important in a digestible manner, you can choose to skim the one to two sentence summaries or take a deeper dive, depending on what your schedule allows.

With a quick—practically effortless—scroll, you can start or end your day on a knowledgeable note.

Although you must be wary of what first meets the eye, social media platforms offer an unpretentious way to get information.

By following news outlets of your choice and friends alike, you can find an eclectic mix of content and commentary you may have otherwise missed.

At the same time, it is important to also stay vigilant about the news you are consuming in this specific space, ensuring that it is accurate reporting and not based on misinformation.

As college students, we can and should take advantage of the various newspapers and magazines that offer discounted subscription rates for our demographic. All of the residence halls on campus, as well as certain academic buildings, stock print issues, inviting you to pick up a copy.

With smartphones sitting in an overwhelming number of our pockets, we can consume the news in a myriad of ways.

If reading through a lengthy article doesn’t pique your interest, you can try listening to a podcast episode or radio livestream. If The New York Times or The Washington Post are not the collective voices you prefer, you can subscribe to The Wall Street Journal or The Economist. If you don’t have cable, you can watch the nightly news online.

The information age is, at times, overwhelming. So many publications and points of view are tugging our attention in different directions, all at the same time.
That being said, we are incredibly lucky to have it all at our fingertips. We cannot take for granted the access that generations before us simply did not have.
The stakes are too high to choose news intolerance or selective ignorance.

Indeed, there is a saturation point we all reach when reading negative headline after negative headline.

Too much doom and gloom can make us feel, well, doom and gloom.

But there is a clear difference between saying you can no longer handle the news—quitting it cold turkey as a result—and taking a temporary break due to exacerbation or coverage that is personally triggering to you.

There must be a healthy balance between self-preservation and actively seeking information. That breakdown will look different for everyone.

At some point, we all have to come up for a breath of fresh air before diving back underwater.