Shocked? Me neither: How News Headlines Desensitize Us

When I was younger and saw headlines incorporating war, death, or scandal on the front page of the newspaper, I was always upset by them. People never like to hear about bad news, and most of the media shown to us is unfortunately, not happy. It seems recently though, that I have not been as affected as I used to be by the sad parts of life, and the shocking revelations that take place around the world. I am not sure if this is a part of growing up, or simply too much exposure to bad things to the point where I have become immune to it.

For those of you who are like me and get alerts from news apps such as CNN, you can probably relate to the amount of sad reports coming in what seems to be every half hour. I go to look at a text and see that women are not being trusted for their stories of sexual assault, again. Or that tensions of nuclear war possibly escalating to World War 3 are happening, again. It does not make my heart skip a beat with panic, or upset me as much as it used to. These examples, however, are big news. They are current political movements of feminism and women’s empowerment being shut down and shamed, and the possibility of mass destruction, and yet, I have no reaction anymore. Yes, I am concerned about the world and its current state, and yes, there is so much improvement to be done, but I have been numbed by the media and its constant saddening reports.

We have grown up in the era of constant conflict. When I discuss this topic with my parents, they always tell me that they never had this much sadness in the media at such a saturated rate. It is the new normal to be bombarded with not only constant information through social media and online news, but also to have it be mainly terrible things. It feels as though mass shootings are not even a shock anymore, and if that doesn't spark concern, I don’t know what will. Sad news has become an epidemic, and hopefully one day, there will be even slightly more peace around the world than there is now.

I feel as though our generation has more idealists, which gives me hope for the future in response to current issues plaguing the nation, and world. Many social movements taking place are beginning to make changes in the way that certain minority groups are being viewed, which is a great place to start. Good news needs to be reported on as much as bad news I believe, otherwise the optimists will begin to fall.

Images: 1 / 2