The Paris attacks are still fresh on everyone’s minds. Honestly, even though 9/11 was 14 years ago, it still lies fresh with me as if it happened a few hours ago. There have been so many acts of violence in the past decade it is truly enough to make your head spin.
When news breaks just as quickly as our hearts we tend to take to social media and share our feelings. Somehow, sharing our feelings turns into a lot of arguing, fighting and emotion. There are a few trends that I have noticed and they can be balled down to the following 5 things:
When something terrible happens it is human nature to blame something or someone. Whether it’s big or small we all look to a group or a particular person to lay it all on. It gives us temporary relief and satisfaction. However, you have to be careful that you are not blaming people for the sake of blaming. Blaming an entire country, religion or color of people for an act that was committed doesn’t help any situation at all, and is often false.
Arguing over nonsense
When something horrible happens we all react in different ways. Some are sad and some are upset–all normal reactions. When we start arguing about how people should feel that is where it becomes a problem. I’ve seen it so many times where someone posts a status and people project their own angry feelings and before you know it there is a war of words and none of it is helpful to the original situation. People will always feel differently than you, arguing about it does nothing to help.
Re-sharing bad information
This one is a biggie. On Friday night when everything in Paris was unfolding I was commuting home from work. I had to depend on social media to get all of my info. That was a big mistake because the news on twitter and facebook was so conflicting that I really had no clue what was actually happening. There were so many retweets of what I realized later on was bad information. Always know your source and think twice before pressing the share button.
I think we have all realized that the media has a big say in what we see on the news. Dealing with one tragedy in one way does not make all others atrocities invalid. Do I wish that they would all the same coverage? Absolutely. But they won’t. We aren’t the ones that decide what is news. We can rehash old tragedies on a daily basis but don’t disrespect the current tragedy in the process. Whether we are in Baghdad, Paris, Kenya or NYC human lives are being lost at an astonishingly fast rate. Every life lost is equally as devastating.
Not independently thinking
As much as I love social media, the system is designed for you to think like everyone else. When 10 people share a link–you take notice. When a topic is trending because “everyone” is talking about it you automatically want to know why. It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole and not know up from down, this is why I encourage you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. It’s so important to know the history, background and motivation of why these things occur.