In the face of the overwhelming horror, my growing sense of smallness and uslenessness, and in addition to donating money, what I’ve realized is that curating the news, particularly in the absence of any algorithmic features (that I know of) on the behalf of Telegram offers me some semblance of feeling like I’m in control of the news I consume and pass on to others among my friend and family groups.

I felt this way about Covid, early on. Reading and synthesizing was something I could offer people.

This, too, seems familiar even though alien:

Every Soviet apartment had a radio hooked up to government channels, and even during the absolute worst days of the siege, the radio was on, so the narrator’s grandmother simply kept it on all the time. She carried that habit over after the war, and the narrator of the story, a young girl, recalls how that sound of the radio on low is one of her favorite soothing memories of her grandmother.

“If the radio is on, it means that life is still winning,” she said, and this is how I feel about Telegram. If I can still reach friends in Russia directly on Telegram, if I can still see videos of Zelensky, alive, then life is, for the moment, still going on, and still makes some sense, even for a few minutes.