How To Deal With Disturbing Images On The Internet Right Now

This week has pretty tough, hasn’t it? Since the horrible bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, it’s virtually impossible to go online, especially social media sites, and not get bombarded with disturbing images of what’s going on. Things have been even more difficult today with this manhunt of one of the suspects happening.

Personally, I’ve seen many, many sad and horrific images online that I almost wish I didn’t see. I’ve also read a ton of misinformation that has made me feel scared and anxious, only to find out an hour later that it was totally wrong. I guess that’s to be expected when news comes to us so quickly through the Internet. Every single news site wants to be the very first one to break something big – and it seems like they don’t care if that information might be wrong. It’s impossible to avoid the terrible images that are being passed around.

The sad part is that this whole situation almost feels like deja vu. When the Sandy Hook tragedy happened, you couldn’t go on any site without being reminded of the terrible events that took place. The same thing happened with the Dark Knight movie theater shooting. You almost don’t want to look at these things because it can be too much, but then you feel guilty not paying attention.

While it’s great and important to be informed about what’s going on close to home, it’s also important to give yourself a break once in a while – and that’s exactly what Amy Poehler talks about in her latest Ask Amy video, which came at exactly the right time.

Amy gets a question about looking at things online, and says, “…What do I want my eye to see? How can I keep myself informed and connected without exploiting people and harming myself?” She adds, “It’s been tough, hasn’t it? Doesn’t it feel like we’re just bombarded with stuff now? That everywhere we go, there’s just some picture that’s worse than the one before? I wonder if we could soften our hearts and minds and eyes and I wonder if we could give our eyes a break and maybe try to see things in a different way. See things by reading about them and talking about them and listening. I don’t know, I kind of feel like my eyes need a break, don’t you?”

In times like these, you not only need to keep yourself informed, but you also need to remember that it’s okay to take a break from these disturbing images and sad stories sometimes. If you only pay attention to this sad news, it’s going to bring you down and it will be the only thing you think about. As Amy says, “It’s okay to not be looking at what everyone else is looking at all of the time, to know what you’re ready to see and not see.”

Watch Amy’s video for more excellent advice on how to deal with these situations:

Have you had trouble dealing with disturbing images online? Was this advice helpful to you? How do you feel about what’s happening in Boston? Tell us in the comments.


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