This is Your Brain on 2017.
At the top of my Missive Evernote brainstorm document, I’ve left a tweet URL I sent on February 13th that includes melting faces and exclamation points. The tweet was my version of the now near-constant liberal wail of “BUT HER EMAILS” whenever something crazy pants comes out of the Administration.
I’ve been needing to retweet it often, considering the daily news. And the Indianapolis Star scoop last night that Pence used personal email for state business — and was hacked proved to be the *second* time yesterday I used it, because this is 2017 and hoo boy, those days are long.
Which is to say that Twitter is killing my brain with the speed in which news is coming at us. KQED did a piece yesterday on a survey that shows that "87 percent of employees are reading political social media posts during the workday.” And since I got my job in policy communications because of a political rant I had at work at my non-political start-up job on election day 2012, I thought everyone read political twitter constantly, so while lol joke’s on me, welcome you all to my specific brand of hell. This is fine.
But it’s true - the election and the cluster that followed seeps into every aspect of “normal” life. I’ve discussed the refugee ban with rideshare drivers, rolled my eyes at Trump outbursts with baristas, had mini-meltdowns talking about the EPA at networking events. And while I know that I’m a pretty political person, I’m hearing stories from you all about awkward cocktail parties, shouting matches over lasagna, and personal relationships that just haven’t been the same since November 9th.
And maybe we aren’t the ones far more likely to be at risk for deportation, or losing federal funding for our research, or facing going back to being a walking pre-existing condition without healthcare, or fear walking down the streets in their own skin, or are worried about their ability to plan a family, or….
So is our new reality a constant hyper-political rubberneck or a slow-moving multi-car pileup we’re all careening into, whether we want to or not? All I know is I keep turning off my computer, but the news is always waiting for me when I return.