News Pummeling: The Downside of Blissful Expat Ignorance

Am I alone here? I really don’t think I am.

Is there anyone else out there, living far away from the country listed on your passport, who has developed a strange but strong affinity for the cut-offedness of it all?

There is something legitimately tranquil about NOT being audibly and visually pummeled by every juicy tabloid scandal, every mindless political squabble, every horrible, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching headline and news flash.

It’s nice sometimes, isn’t it?

To live in the backwoods . . . or the jungle . . . or the desert . . . or a Communist Superpower.

Ignorance can truly be blissful (at least for a time) and operating at about 14% of the functionality of the average local person can have its advantages.


And let’s be honest. We’re never REALLY disconencted. The internet is always in our pocket and generally, there is someone nearby who says, “did you hear about what happened back home?” or “did you see that thing about the thing?”

It’s different though — from being pummeled.

Am I the only one who sometimes feels absolutely OVERWHELMED because they thought they might “take a few minutes to catch up” and then got BLASTED (in all caps)?

Have you ever experienced that sense of bending down to take a sip from a water fountain and then getting pinned to the wall because someone hooked it up to a fire hydrant?

You just wanted a quick drink and four hours later you’re soaked . . . and bruised . . . and somehow covered in slime.

How does that even happen?

You just thought you might check the news . . . and now you can’t breathe.

That’s me this week.

Someone said, “Hey did you hear? Billy Graham died.”

So I thought I might take a sip. Maybe read the obituary. Click a link or two.


Pummeled by the full range of highest praise for leading millions to heaven all the way to “have fun in hell.”

Someone else said, “Hey did you see? Another school shooting?”

I know there is no way to sip that one.

I was right.

Four hours later I couldn’t breathe.

I know that expats don’t own the rights to being overwhelmed by the news. It’s just overwhelming.

And now more than ever, the contempt of the polarized masses in conjunction with the venomous screams of wannabe “champions” fueled by anonymity or even worse, popularity, absolutely guarantee the overwhelm.

But is it just me or is there something unique about News Pummeling for the expat?

Don’t get me wrong — I might not be complaining.  I sure do like my moments of ignorant tranquility but the instant, sporadic, wall pinning blasts in between can be hard to take.

How do you handle it?

Connect more often?

Lower doses?

Unplug regularly?

Crawl into a hole?

Help us out — because I really don’t think I’m alone here.


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Jerry Jones

Jerry lives in China with his beautiful blended family. He is a trainer, a speaker, an adventurer, a culture vulture and an avid people watcher. He writes about all of that at

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