The importance of resisting cynicism in our era

Taking breaks from social media can help you stay positive


As a journalism student, I understand that reading the news is of immense importance, and with the availability of the internet comes widespread access to all the news we can take. 

It is vital to be informed about as much as possible. As the old saying goes: “ignorance is bliss, and knowledge is pain,” yet for all this knowledge we have to inform ourselves, the effect it has can sometimes be a draining one. Because we’re always aware of events in the world and are unable to impact them directly, many people in this generation risk becoming very cynical as a result. 

The constant barrage of undesirable news we can read has helped to solidify feelings in younger people that really can’t see the brighter side of things. 

As a part of this pessimistic generation, there are periods when I find myself regressing back into my high school angst, feeling angry about the state of the world and being unable to do anything about it. And I know for a fact that even some of the most positive-minded students have experienced this state of mind at least once as well.

In these trying and unique times, where the world is embroiled in a pandemic, science races to eliminate COVID-19 and its many variants, we often encase ourselves in cynicism to lessen the impact that these events seem to have in our lives. 

Being bombarded with graphic imagery and scenes of destruction, instead of garnering sympathy, hardens us, making us feel less affected by the harsh events. 

It’s easy to regress to a pessimistic viewpoint, “Oh, but that’s the state of the world. It is what it is.” It’s easier to accept the depressing things you read about in newspapers or online by becoming cynical and indifferent to reality.

One of the simplest methods to escaping that pessimism and hopelessness is to avoid paying attention to drama unfurling on social media.

Yes, this sounds like the most banal of methods. Still, you can experience a huge amount of relief by not engaging in heated online debates or staying the hell away from communities plagued with toxic members. 

Forget arguing and proving yourself online. You will never get validation from the other person. You can get angry all you like and smash your keyboard, ready to prove the other person wrong, but all you’ll accomplish is making an ass out of yourself for all on the internet to see. 

Heaven forbid one of the other people screenshot your comment, share it, devoid of context, and a future employer sees it, and then nobody will ever hire you. 

You’ve heard this a billion times, but outright quitting social media use can help improve your outlook on life. Instead of cringing at the things comment posters are capable of spewing forth, don’t even concern yourself with it.

Seek validation in life and from your peers. Being invited to small gatherings with friends can help you feel like the world is a brighter place and taking that break from your phone, from social media, or from the internet entirely, can really make a difference once in a while.