I don't like to talk about national tragedies.
This is not to minimize the significance of these events, nor is it to criticize those who do want to talk about them. While it isn't for me, I can see how the analyzing and praying and talking can fill a need, can help some people to process, and I bear those people no ill will.
And to be honest, while I choose not to look at graphic images or videos, I don't find most of your words especially triggering. It's sad, and I feel grief for those affected, but it doesn't make me despair for human kind.
So, your tweets and updates about the tragedies aren't why I turn off social media on those days. It's because you don't talk about anything else.
I remember after 9/11 hearing that there was a list of songs that radio stations were told not to play in light of the events, and one of them was Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."
I lived 45 minutes outside NYC. The girl next to me at the campus bus stop had watched the skyline fall out the side of her car window. My roommate's mother had escaped from Tower 1 that morning. Several of my students when I student taught had parents who hadn't. So, trust me I got it.
I gave money to the Red Cross. I gave jackets and food. I tried to give blood. I went to a tribute ceremony.
And I went home to my campus apartment, downloaded What a Wonderful World, and played it on repeat.
Because, damn it, it is.
I go on twitter, and I hear people complaining about auto-tweets. I see people apologize for talking as normal, for being insensitive, explaining that they were only talking freely because they didn't know.
Let me tell you this: even when something horrible has happened, your small struggles and challenges, your vulnerability?
Your kind words to each other, and the daily love and hugs I see you all using social media to dispense?
Your tiny moments of joy with your loved ones and children?
In fact, I can't think of any time when they matter more.