Upon hearing of various atrocities that our, often phantasmal, reality can bring to bear, I have consider my aloofness to be somewhat of a desensitisation to the grotesque of human nature.
We are so immersed in stories and reports of the grotesque that it seems inappropriate to deem a reality without atrocities "normal".
I thought, at first, that the fault lied with me; perhaps I was becoming cold and emotionless. Was this the inevitable conclusion of engaging with a society that induces indifference through sensationalism? Was I the product of an illogical new regime that churned out avatars disguised as people in a mechanisation of desensitisation?
Constant rebuffing and chastising on social networks have come to define daily life in a society that holds hands through retweets and like buttons. Gone are the days when bullying was done to our faces. Now, the cowardice has assumed a new face even more menacing than the physical harm of the bullying of old.
There is a sense of irony that comes with feeling bad about atrocities in society due to being bombarded with causes and pictures depicting the grotesque. In one sense it makes one aware of issues, yet it has the effect of desensitising an individual to the bad. In both instances, the effect on the individuals’ sensibility is negative. Not only do we feel bad about not being able to change the evils of society, we also feel bad about thinking that it is normal.
It is for this reason that I dub the "causes", "likes" and "shares" of social networks a form of bullying in its own right. Though the cause aims at enlightening people and generating interest in a certain issue, it also forces individuals to feel guilt, chastise themselves and generally berate themselves for not being sensitive enough.
The notion of not being sensitive enough is in itself a problematic one. We find that human beings shy away from horrors as it is often unpleasant. Self-preservation and interest is a key component to basic human nature. Little wonder people shun looking at pictures depicting animals being slaughtered or the bloody remains of a raped girl found dead in a field.
Another key concern and ethical question is the showcasing of these grotesque issues. The way in which we portray an issue is as important as what we portray. To enshrine grotesque issues in discursivity has an adverse effect on the individuals and their families who are directly affected by grotesque crimes such as rape and murder. I would argue that not only does it have an adverse effect, but also a perverse effect, as it forces the victims of the crime to relive their horror over and over again. This is not just a personal embarrassment, but a social one which makes the victims susceptible to the judgments and opinions of an entire society.
These causes are a violation to our society in many differing ways. Not only does it subject victims to a form of constant ridicule and judgments by society, but it also causes the victims to relive their horrors in a way that will violate them again and again through these reminders.
If any good is to be done I would encourage that these causes be abolished from the mindsets of our missionary like social commentators. Stagnation is not the key to absolving our social qualms. Use what skills you have, within the sphere of your own talents, to fight against our social inequities. Now THAT'S a "cause" I would "like".
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