I had an epiphany today that I, along with millions of other people, are extremely desensitized. For example, my coworker and I went go grab lunch and there was a homeless man passed out on the ground with cops hovering over him. They were checking to see if he was breathing and kept nudging him to see if he would get up. My coworker immediately posed the question, ” Is he dead?’ I responded with, “I doubt it. He’s probably just high or blacked out.” But was he? The thought of death hadn’t even crossed my mind and if he was, I guess it’s just another day, another death. As soon as this thought crossed my mind, I became disturbed, clearly so was my coworker. Have I become desensitized? I just saw the movie The Hunger Games last night, so my excuse was clearly that I was still in shock about the movie and how reality and fantasy had become so intertwined. But I wonder if that is so far off?
Everyday, living in New York City, I walk by people that are passed out or homeless, sleeping in the cold. It never crosses my mind to call 911 to see if they are still alive and kicking. There are constantly fire trucks across the street from my apartment building and the sick thing is, the only thought running through my head is, “Damn, I hope I don’t have to get up. Oh good, my fire alarm didn’t go off, I am in the clear.” Today, I realized there is something very wrong with this picture. How did I turn into this jaded person? The honest answer is I don’t know. I do know that growing up in this time period where there is so much negative news in everyone’s face, does paint a very bleak picture. After a while, you just tune it out and become indifferent towards it all. The combination of negative news and this documentary style reality t.v. where viewers see all of the nitty gritty details of somebody’s life, such as plastic surgery, divorce, and sometimes even death, does affect its viewers.
According to an article on Suite101, it’s estimated that a child will see around 100,000 acts of violence by the time he/she reaches the sixth grade. 100,000 violent acts! No wonder Americans are becoming so desensitized. In addition to this, networks like MTV and Oxygen condone bad behavior with shows like Jersey Shore and Bad Girls Club. So in a world full of negative media influences, how do we keep our humanity? In my opinion, the only way to keep your humanity is to tune out all the negative clutter and remember all the positive things in life. I do know for sure that the next time I see someone that looks like they need help, I will do my best to stop and assist them. I hope you do the same.