The Impact of Media
By Andy Im
We’ve grown accustomed to knowing just about everything that takes place in the world because of the media (tv, internet, Facebook, etc.). Daily, we learn of various events and tragedies, and very often minutes after they occur (think 9/11). We’ve become gods, in a sense, omnipresent to the occurrences of the world. And because we know, we’re also involved, butting our noses (though friendly) into the lives of others, their issues, and concerns whether it’s our business or not. This is what technology has enabled us to do—to become.
Consequently, many Americans feel somewhat responsible to act and respond to the atrocities that occur in Africa, the Middle East (Syria), and the remote parts of the earth. We feel this responsibility because we know, and we know because of the media.
But, is it in our best interest to know all these things?
This phenomenon (of knowing) is a created reality, and one perhaps even Adam didn’t experience. How do we handle such superfluous amounts of information? Are we morally responsible and held accountable to that knowledge?
Should we be good Samaritans every time we see a wounded “Jew” on CNN or FoxNews and take political and monetary action in an attempt to better our world? Must we get off our “donkey” to assist every person that has fallen by the “wayside”? What are we to do when our televisions and Facebook posts bombard us with yet another people group suffering from abject misery, poverty, and death?
The media is a powerful medium. Information is fed to us “supernaturally” through a created, human-made technology. The media didn’t have to exist. It just happens to. Each day, we behold that dying “Jew” and do nothing, absolutely nothing about it (the corollary is we reinforce the fact we’ll yet again do nothing). As we repeat this cycle over and over again, repetition breeds habit and habit makes trivial and mundane something that should mean something, but has morphed into pettiness. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we’ve grown increasingly numb and stoic to the concerns of others. We’ve become acclimated into a state of indifference.
“As Adam witnessed the first signs of decay in the falling leaf and in the drooping flowers, he mourned more deeply than men now mourn over their dead.” (Conflict & Courage, p. 19).
Something to think about.