Did we just scroll past another tragedy?



Photo credits to Niekverlaan at Pixabay.com


These days, Twitter is not only a place for me to have brain farts and not feel judged, it is also a place where I get my news from. As a millennial, there’s no shame in admitting to moving from traditional media such as T.V. and newspapers to following news channels on Twitter to read online news articles, but what I did find interesting is my behavior towards particular news items.

For instance, last week saw the U.S. experienced another school shooting which is now considered as one of the worst next to Sandy Hook mass shooting. I felt anger and frustration. That’s not surprising at all given that even Americans themselves are angry about it. What if I told you that just below the breaking news was another news update/commentary on the Philippine president joking about shooting delicate parts of the body? How did I react? I scrolled past it.

Now, there is no exact way for me to explain why I reacted differently to both news. I don’t even think that I am always aware when I do it. Both news were pertaining to violence. Granted, there were no deaths involved in our president “goofing’ about, but if we really think about it, it is this type of joke and mentality that creates an environment that dehumanizes women and children, making it easy for others to perpetrate violence against them. So we should care about both stories.

Still, how many times do we actually scroll past certain news items? Think terrorist attacks happening in the West. Then think of the controversial drug-related killings in the Philippines. Think about the death toll rising in wars in the Middle East and possible genocide of minorities in other parts of the world. The Brexit, racial debates, and tense international relations. What else happened in our respective countries? Which ones did we click on? Or shared with our friends?

Perhaps, it’s not necessarily wrong if we read more about particular stories and not all. After all, there is only so much we can digest before the news starts to depress us, not to mention that we also have our own problems to attend to.

The next time you get worked up when you see the headline, ask yourself why. Look at the other headlines, ask again if anything sounds similar. We can also ask friends and family about how they feel. We may get to pick and choose which news story to follow, but at least we are aware of our own actions. Maybe someday, by doing so, our understanding of the world around us and how certain events resonate with us will help us figure out how to channel our own frustrations into better ways for helping our communities and ourselves.

And from now on, I too shall practice mindful ways of scrolling through my twitter feed. #

6 thoughts on “Did we just scroll past another tragedy?

  1. leenakariapper says:

    It’s a mutli-dimensional problem thar has many reasons. 1. Desensitization.
    2. Difficulty determining how much is true and what is exaggerated.
    3. Saturation of negative emotions in our minds.
    4. Inability to empathize with what doesn’t directly concern oneself (too preoccupied with one’s own life).
    5. Lack of feeling of responsibility for other human beings and the world we live in.

    There may be other reasons that I haven’t thought of yet.

    Do share your tips and tricks to staying mindful when reading your newsfeed! I would like to learn how to do this too!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. huda says:

    Aww, I was hoping to read about ways to be mindful when it is almost inevitable to scroll through social media without feeling indifferent about everything. I find it hard to focus on something that made the headlines when I am occupied with something else. Should I focus more? Is it a good idea to put my phone down and get back to it later? Or should I stop what I am doing for a few minutes and allow myself to be distracted at that moment onwards?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mina Zaldarriaga Sadain says:

      Don’t worry Huda, I was only including general overview of this topic. Inshaallah I can write a longer one soon. That being said, I think you can only put away your phone if you have the intention of going back to the material later. And we often forget to go back. So, it might be better to focus on it or as you say, allow yourself to be distracted, for few minutes. What’s even better is setting aside a time in a day for you to scroll through your news feed. I don’t think we should necessarily internalize everything we read from the news, but it’s good to be updated and mindful of what is happening in the other side of the world. The info is helpful to furthering discussions later on when the topic does come up again. The next time we see another article or hear people talking about it we immediately relate it to what we already know, making it easier for us to ask more questions. So it creates a state of constant awareness. It’s kind of like how you notice a specific number or face and suddenly it feels like you’re beginning to see them everywhere you go. It’s not an omen but more like an increased awareness. I haven’t considered yet just how much can increased awarness impact the way we live and interact with other people.

      Liked by 1 person

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