By Kaitlyn Bell
With every click or swipe, society falls deeper into a media addiction. This has made some people hyperaware of what is going on in the world around them, while others only see bits and pieces, making the information confusing and in some cases unimportant. While it is absolute that there are many benefits to technology and its new developments, the lack of accurate information spread through the media is substantial. There is also a case to be made that social media desensitizes the public to important issues, making individuals “numb” to the most controversial topics in the world.
By just opening your Instagram or Twitter account, different perspectives of world issues are laid out in front of you. However, this convenience is not always a good thing. Essentially 24 hours after a major crisis hits headlines, Instagram stories, Twitter feeds and TikTok “For You Pages” are flooded with information and stories about the situation. Just as quickly as something can be posted, it can disappear, allowing information to get lost in the endless swarm of information accessible on social media. Before an issue can be resolved, let alone processed and discussed by the public, people move on to the next trending topic.
This type of situation has occurred time and time again with issues such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Uvalde and Parkland school shootings. There are many who stay updated on these topics, but it is almost guaranteed that their main source of information is social media. Others repost information they see on social platforms and then expunge the information from their mind. Consequently, for a shortened period of time, the general public focuses on an issue and pledges to not rest until the issue is resolved permanently. This is why every so often an important figure will come out and discuss their disgust or disappointment at the issue at hand; it has happened countless times before and will happen again.
Source by Areej Zaidi
Many are desensitized to serious tragedies due to the influx of media.
“At both places, we spent hours with hundreds of family members who were broken and whose lives will never be the same. And they had one message for all of us: Do something. Just do something. For God’s sake, do something,” President Joe Biden said. He went on to say something that has been said many times before. “This time, that can’t be true. This time, we must actually do something.”
This lack of progress and advancement against important issues stems from many places, but one of the most prevalent being desensitization. Desensitization is described as “a psychological process by which a response is repeatedly elicited in situations where the action tendency that arises out of the emotion proves to be irrelevant.” In simpler terms, an excess exposure to sensitive information and issues has made many almost unresponsive to it. The constant bombardment of frightening and overwhelming information that plagues its recipients is the key reason why the general public hasn’t changed anything. “As long as it isn’t me,” is a phrase I have heard countless times, but is that fair to think?
Nowadays, many will argue that it is essential to be connected to the media. However, an overload of information may cause some to experience anxiety and depression while others may feel nothing at all.