I don’t know how many of you rummage through this entire site (all 3 pages of it) but if you do, then you probably noticed that last week I was having trouble writing because I was both tired and slightly disgusted. I feel like I’m either finding ridiculous news or sad news. Now, I’m not about trying to put a cloud over anyone’s day, so I haven’t been writing about anything REALLY going on out there, but I’ve had enough, I can’t outrun it anymore!
If you go to AOL and scroll through the news, every other headline is “Man Found Dead” or “Mother Kills Children”. I’m in amazement at how it seems all news is bad news these days. For some, its a sign that the Earth is on the path its supposed to take. For others, its justification for their own stereotypes or beliefs. I for one, don’t remember so many parent’s killing their children as there are now.
Internet I go! in search of something to tell me whether things are really so much horrible than in previous years, or if our ability to pollute ourselves with excessive information is finally taking its toll.
First stop is the world now seen through religion. Many people believe that we are in the “end of time’s” and that is why the Earth is so chaotic. Islam’s signs depict a multitude of things, including war and the rising of a particular man. I’m not well versed on Islam, so I’ll just let you read it yourself. In Christian religion, the signs are justified by current happenings. From immorality to earthquakes. There tend to be a lot of commonality between religions when it comes to the end of the world and our current state, as can be seen here.
So, for myself, I do tend to lean towards the religious belief. I am also leaning towards a need to further research things because I definitely don’t want to be one of those that blindly follow something. So onto my second theory of, social media overload.
A book by Alvin Toffler created the term, information overload. It is where, for some, the more you can access…the less you know. Simple example he used was an experiment where the more brands a housewife was given to choose from, the poorer her decision making became. Other than this experiment obviously being done back in the 1960s (you know, because we all know MEN are bad at decision making), it proves that the more you are confronted with, the worse off you are at knowing what you should be believing.
Another idea I have is if its just mere desensitization at work. Maybe we’ve gone through years of becoming more immune to the stories we’ve seen that now people are upping the ante, and its actually resonating and seeming overwhelming at the same time.
There was a study done that scanned the brain for reactions from inspiring stories and then brutality. While the brain reacted quicker to pain than it did to inspiration, the brain let go of the reaction to pain faster and held onto the good longer. Is it that we recognize things are bad, but we dismiss it quicker? And do we hold on to the good longer because we see less and less of it?
Back before there was youtube and twitter and cameras on
phones, we could only take news stories at the anchor’s word. A situation like Kelly Thomas might not have even made the news because no one would have proof of what occurred. Or maybe it would have made the news, but would have sounded something like, “homeless man resists arrest, died as result of confrontation with police”.
So I’ve made theories, but the only way to get any sort of resolution at the moment is to bring in the CHF! (cold hard facts: get use to it, i’ll be using that weekly baby).
The first thing I stumble upon is this article which says that mortality rates were at an all time low in 2009. It includes disease and crime rate. Well alrighty then, you go America! But this isn’t necessarily what I’m looking for. Continue the search: I find something else that shows an increase in youth suicides which they believe is due to the increase in explicit suicide scenes in PG-13 movies. This definitely coincides with information overload, since art seems to be imitating life these days.
Then I find this beaut: gun crimes in 2009. While the information is a little dated, it does show that over half of the murders are due to firearms. Let me quickly backtrack with saying, I have literally no problem with guns. I know people who have guns, I want a gun. As long as you’re responsible with them, you can have one too (unless you kill people with them, but thats not responsible so nevermind, already covered). But those are a lot of deaths period. And when you look at legit data its amazing to see that between 2008 and 2009, crimes have actually gone down! Yes, those are statistics for 2010 to 2011, but I have to assume that even if it did increase, it would still be around previous year numbers, so therefore, not any worse than we’ve already seen.
So why does it feel like the news is getting worse and worse? Maybe it is the end of times, and all the big crap is starting to hit the fan. Or maybe we are becoming more brutal and sick and our crimes are just getting worse. Does that mean that my kids will be immune to mass murders, bombings, children killing their parents and vice versa? It looks like that will be the case, unless the world really does end…
Biz Markie (Goin’ Old School on Ya!)