I think it's worth explaining that I fall on the autism spectrum, so certain answers that may seem extremely obvious to others are not at all obvious to me.
So I was on a flight recently (let's say, leaving from Los Angeles). I fly this route quite frequently, and I also happen to be an aviation enthusiast who collects logs of flights from pilots, and every time I board a flight, I hand the flight attendants a book, asking them to hand it over to the flight deck. That book clearly states on the cover, "I am an aviation enthusiast".
One day, I was flying this route again. I boarded the plane, handed my book to a cabin crew, and took my seat. A few minutes after taking off, the semi-secret signal that airlines use to indicate an emergency sounded, and all of the cabin crew quickly walked up to the front. I also noticed we were going off course. I got very tensed, and quickly opened up an online flight tracker using the plane's Wi-Fi service, and it said we were being diverted.
At this point, the cabin crew just acted normal, and told other curious passengers who noticed the course change that "nothing" was happening. The seat belt sign was off, and no announcement from the flight deck that we're returning to LAX had been made. I quickly walked up to the flight attendant, and asked why our flight was being diverted, showing them the flight tracker page saying that this flight was being diverted on my phone. They told me to return to my seat, which I did.
The trouble is, I feel very tensed not knowing what's going on if something goes wrong, which happens to be the exact opposite of other passengers' attitudes. In particular, I prefer to hear "we're diverting because engine 1 failed" than "nothing's happening". The flight deck announcement about this and the fact we were returning to LAX were made very late.
My question is, on a future flight, how (and when) do I tactfully ask the flight attendant what's going on and make myself less tensed, without triggering panic across the plane (assuming it's safe to ask them, and they're not doing any emergency preparations)? The method in which I asked on that earlier flight was likely the wrong way, because it was in the middle of the passenger cabin.
Please note: This is a strictly IPS question, and not an aviation question. In this case, the cabin crew wasn't doing anything, and (as I said in the original post) the seat belt sign was off when I got up to ask. I did not in any way interfere with the crew's duties. I'm asking in the context of this very same situation (safe to get up and will not disturb duties by asking).
By the way, here's the chat conversation that resulted in this question.