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Very early into the coverage yesterday, long before we learned that an eight-year-old had died or that the injured were in the hundreds, long before Obama made his statement and newspapers had rehashed minimal amounts of news, I shut down the computer and set down the cell phone.  It was too much.  Too many status updates and too many Tweets and too many blog posts and too many CNN alerts.  There have been plenty of times when I’ve felt as if the Internet offers too much information, though usually in a crisis, when I am starved for information, I welcome the deluge.

I just couldn’t read anymore.  I couldn’t read the positive affirmations of Mr. Rogers nor could I see one more meme about how we’re all runners today.  Normally these types of things would make me feel connected to the larger world.  But yesterday, they just made me feel quiet.

The ChickieNob and I baked banana muffins and then sat on the floor with our legs out, feet touching, allowing Truman to run back and forth between us.  She knew what had happened because she overheard me speaking to my mother.  She didn’t want to talk about it.  She was quiet too.

I don’t know what makes that stream of conversation loud or soft. I don’t know why it’s comforting sometimes and not others. All I know is that yesterday, it didn’t help to keep talking about it or reading about it. All those words did was turn up the volume in my brain.


1 Kimberly { 04.16.13 at 7:48 am }

Honestly, I have this with happen with all tragedies. I can’t bring myself to post about it, it hurts to read about it constantly. So I step away. I walk away from media coverage, social media and barely say anything about it. I move into a somber reflection and mourn the loss privately.

I went to darts last night and clearly it was the main topic of conversation. Cape Breton has strong ties to Boston. But I was quiet and when I was asked why I was so quiet, I was honest. I’m dealing with it in my own way. And while I process, I’m quiet.

2 Natalie { 04.16.13 at 8:18 am }

I was taking in the info, but I couldn’t post about it. Everyone else was posting quotes and info and links and prayers and I was just quiet.

3 Chickenpig { 04.16.13 at 8:26 am }

I feel disconnected, honestly. I get shocked and distraught by tragedy the same as the next person. But I didn’t lose anyone, I don’t know anyone who was hurt. It isn’t my pain or my grief. I feel that all the status updates, posts, and tweets serve a purpose for other people, especially those who live in Boston and want to check on loved ones…but it doesn’t serve any purpose for me. I love Boston and I have been there many, many times. I want to remember the good times I’ve had there not the bloody streets. Nothing I post or update will change anything or help one person who was injured. Sometimes quiet is best. 🙂

4 a { 04.16.13 at 8:26 am }

I’m usually fairly quiet on these things. I wanted to watch coverage, but my girl was unable to process what was happening, so I turned it off.

5 Tiara { 04.16.13 at 8:37 am }

It’s a lot to process & the constant chatter & retelling of the same minimal facts gets overwhelming. Take care, hugs

6 LC { 04.16.13 at 9:19 am }

I agree with the first poster… Quiet is how I deal with this stuff. I can’t watch endless coverage where they say the same things, show the same things, over and over with no new information. It makes me more antsy than I already am. I wish I didn’t have enough experience with this to know how I deal with it….

7 Maria { 04.16.13 at 9:39 am }

I get this. My husband asked me to get off the computer and just “be” with him and my son. We watched Mickey and cuddled.

8 Catwoman73 { 04.16.13 at 9:58 am }

I am normally quiet with this stuff, too… Quietly processing, appreciating the peace of my home life with my family. But last night, sitting alone in a hotel room (my dad is having heart surgery today- I am out of town, away from my family), I was feeling overwhelmed by disbelief over what has happened, and fear for my father. I had to write something… With no real way to distract myself, I had to release the emotion somehow. So tragic…

9 Another Dreamer { 04.16.13 at 10:03 am }

I had to step away from everything too. It was too much. I’m like that with most tragedies, I may say a few words to my husband, I may go back and check the headlines, but I have to step away from it and process. I have to let the world sink in while I embrace what I have.

10 marwil { 04.16.13 at 10:50 am }

It’s just awful and sometimes you have to step away. I’m like that to when it gets too much.

11 Ellen { 04.16.13 at 10:51 am }

Same here, Mel. I was just talking with my best friend about this feeling a few minutes ago. “Turning up the volume in my brain” is a good description.

12 Katie { 04.16.13 at 10:55 am }

I had to step away, too. It was just too much.

13 Lori Lavender Luz { 04.16.13 at 11:08 am }

Immediately after the Newtown news began unfolding, I got onto a plane and was out of the loop for hours. By the time I tuned in again — I was able to decide that the endless loop was not going to be helpful to me in any way. I made a conscious choice to tune out, except for brief periodic check ins.

I didn’t do that yesterday. I wish I had. It’s hard to look away when you don’t have a reason to (for me, anyway).

14 m { 04.16.13 at 11:35 am }

Yes. This. Quiet. Processing. Right now, my words will nit change the discourse or console those who have lost. I have no new information, our insight that hasn’t already been voiced. We turned away too

The first blog post after an event like this is hard for me. Because you can’t not talk about it. Can you?

15 It Is What It Is { 04.16.13 at 11:50 am }

Yes, usually I am a sponge for information, switching channels endlessly for the one with the most up-to-date info, checking FB and blogs to see who knows what, how people were affected. And even though I happened to have the TV on when news hit almost immediately upon it happening, I was done. Not numb, but done. I got the jist of how things were unfolding in snippets throughout the day but I unplugged from wall to wall coverage. When my son got home from school, he played Legos and I made dinner in advance. It was ready early and I texted my husband so that he would come straight home. After dinner, my son and I played Go Fish a few times. After he went to bed and baby went down, I changed, crawled into bed and went to sleep myself.

My horror cup runneth over.

16 Steadfast Warrior { 04.16.13 at 1:08 pm }

I get utterly overwhelmed with the amount of information out there every day at the best of times, but when something like this happens it’s worse. I’m like many here, I took in what I needed to know what was going on and then left it alone till I was ready to handle an update.

So very sad and horrifying.

17 Cristy { 04.16.13 at 3:39 pm }

Outside of rapidly trying to get into contact with family and friends in the Boston area, I did the same thing. Such a senseless and heartless act. There really was no point other than to spread evil.

18 Battynurse { 04.20.13 at 7:02 am }

One thing that’s interesting especially with social media is that you hear so much that may or may not be true or completely accurate. I know that’s the case with TV as well but it seems intensified now. I tend to not watch the news all that often and only knew something had happened as I kept getting status updates from my CNN app. I remember though with other tragedies after a certain point having to just turn the news off due to overload and just wanting to not think about it for a while.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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