It’s a rare occasion nowadays that you watch the News and are completely shocked and appalled by what you see. We all know the war in Syria is horrific, the deadly Ebola virus is tragic and we all know that people who kill their loved ones are insane. But my question is; are we desensitised by it all? Have these sort of headlines all become part of the norm?
The other day, I was travelling in the car with my family and the news came on the radio. It was a story of how a young woman had been attacked and even though my family heard it, they carried on talking about something funny that had happened the day before. That really made me think. Now don’t get me wrong, my family are the loveliest and most caring people I know; we watch the news every night and do our best to pay attention to what’s going on in the world, but on this occasion, sat in the car, we all zoned out. We were tired of it and subconsciously we just didn’t want to listen to any more sad news.
The news is all around us; it’s always there, repeating itself every hour. Realistically we can’t stop to listen to it all the time. As absolutely horrific and awful as it sounds, and I feel horrible even typing it, we hear about people being attacked and killed all the time now, so it tends to fade into background noise. We prioritise. If something huge has happened, then everyone will listen. If a story is so big or tragic that it actually does still manage to shock us, then the whole country will be in shock together.
Since social media and technology has been developed, we’ve been able to hear about more stories and actually see footage of awful scenes that we could have never imagined. There’s no doubt this kind of footage would have been something that shocked us, when first introduced, but I think as a nation we have become a bit desensitised by it all. During the five minutes of a news story, it does make you think, but once it’s finished you know you can’t dwell on it or it’ll consume you.
I know a lot of people who don’t watch or pay attention to the news and in a lot of these cases they say it’s because it “depresses them” and is “never anything good”. They’re right in some respects, but I do still think it’s important for people to know what’s going on in their world. Yes, the news is often full of depressing story lines that can make you doubt the good in the world, but there will be a story that restores your faith in humanity.
There will always be evil in the world, we can’t ignore that, but we can’t ever stop caring.