A year ago, life seemed much less complicated. Most days I felt that the world moved according to a relatively predictable—albeit chaotic—rhythm. The media provided what I believed to be reasonably accurate news flavored with partisan spin. I knew which way was up. Then everything changed.
In the summer of 2016, my sense of certainty evaporated like rainwater off hot pavement. Maelstroms of fake news stories burst my complacency bubble, hurling me into an abyss of confusion. Though a seismic shake-up may have been long overdue, the assault on the truth rattled me.
Uncertainty is uncomfortable—sometimes painfully so. Since last summer, I’ve shifted from feeling confident in the veracity of the information I consume to experiencing intense suspicion about people's motives and the authenticity of their statements. I’m periodically plagued by bouts of insomnia and gripped by anxiety. I’ve felt the urge to rant and the impulse to hide. Neither option seems very satisfying.
Throughout all of this, though, I have held on to the belief that if you look hard enough, you’ll eventually find a silver lining. My eureka moment came at 3 a.m. one Monday while my unsleeping eyes focused on my blinking bedside clock. I realized I was still in control, and I had all the tools I needed to hold on to my sense of security and authenticity despite the nebulous swirl of uncertainty around me. Here are my three best tips for staying sane in an often fake world: