Zia Hassan

Contagious Anxiety

+++ title = “11” date = 2020 +++

Sometimes when I see someone post an alarming article on Facebook (which is most days), I picture what their face looked like as they posted.

Especially if the article comes with no commentary from them. As in, they’re just silently slapping a headline in front of thousands of friends and acquaintances. 

I imagine their eyebrows going up, face full of anxious tension. Then, they post. And then their body calms back down. 

It’s a game that social media plays well. It’s the same game that good movies play, and good music. There’s tension and there’s release.

It used to be that if we read an alarming article, we had to wait until Sunday dinner with the extended family to talk about it. An alarming news story could stay bottled up inside of us for days. We had to sit with our pain for just a little bit.

The “reshare” button has given us a way to release tension in the most efficient but least cathartic way possible.