Karen and I had a brief but interesting conversation yesterday about how desensitized we have become as a society. When you consider the amount of murder, war, violence and criminal acts that we are exposed to on a daily basis online and on the tube, it certainly must have an impact on our emotional response to those same acts when they occur in real life. That’s why I’m so opposed to violent video games.

My niece and nephew are being reared as I was – with no television. Believe it or not, it isn’t a terrible as it sounds. I didn’t really even know what I was “missing” and neither do they. There are times when they are around a computer and have the chance to watch a downloaded video or other form of online entertainment, but it’s few and far between.

A few years ago, I took Finding Nemo to my mom’s house to show the kiddies while we celebrated the holidays. I was surprised at the fearful reaction of both of them and even my sister when the shark tries to eat Nemo’s father. What caused virtually no response in me had quite the opposite effect on them.

There have been many videos that I have watched online that I would have been better off to have never witnessed, but morbid curiosity always won. I watched a video of the beheading of Nick Berg even though I really didn’t want to initially. Although I had a visceral reaction to it and felt literally sick, I convinced myself that it was important to know what kind of evil lurks in the world.

This morning, I ran across a video that is making the rounds of a young Iraqi woman being stoned for loving someone that her religion didn’t approve of – a common occurrence in the Muslim community. The sickening image of her bloodied, half-naked body lying on the ground surrounded by screaming men didn’t enrage me as much as the callous people snapping pictures and photos with their cellphones. However, doesn’t watching it make me somewhat of an accomplice to their indifference?

Violence breeds violence. Already there are reports that revenge killings have taken place because of this girl’s murder. Our own country is guilty of similar acts under the name of promoting democracy and fighting terrorism, so should we really be surprised when stories of such violence spring from a war-torn country?

Does becoming aware of violence in the world through the use of cellphones and video enable us to act against it, or does it simply promote more violence? Is there a difference between watching brutality in real-life footage and enveloping ourselves in savagery though video games?

I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I’m thankful that my niece and nephew still look at the world through unclouded, innocent eyes.

Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 12 years and three fabulous felines.

4 thoughts on “Desensitized”

  1. I worry about desensitization when I become a nurse, but I suppose some of it is necessary for survival in the field. Yuck.

  2. Hi, I found your blog when I Googled “Ron Paul on gay rights.” I am gay, a Democrat by default and find him the most intriguing candidate out there regardless of any party affiliation. His stance on gays in the military as stated in the New Hampshire Republican debate is probably the most logical if not the most palatable opinion I have heard. The lack of clear information on his personal beliefs in this regard is worrisome but if his clearly stated belief that they are not the Federal government’s business may be the best idea yet. I’m not sure yet but it is definitely worth a discussion somewhere.

    I started my blog as a journal of my recovery from an addiction to crystal meth. So when I saw your blog title I thought you may be another recovery friend in the blogosphere. I was surprised to see that your not. But no matter, as I am realizing that what I am really recovering from is a life neglected and my issues with meth are only a part of that. So, in that way, I can commiserate with what seems to be your quest for a better self.

    I really enjoyed your “100 Things About Me.” Indeed, I can only surmise what a challenge it was to have compiled the 100,000 foot view of who you are as a person. I would like to have the same understanding of myself (as well as have the world have the same understanding) but for now I am too daunted by such a gargantuan task. Kudos to you for having accomplished it for yourself.

    From that list and the few posts I have read so far I believe you to be an undereducated person who is amazingly intelligent. Not an easy feat in this day and age. This must be because you were raised with out television and an intelligence was allowed to evolve unhindered by the utter antagonistic weight that programming content has on the evolution of the human mind at it’s most formative time. Since I spent the last seven years of my life doing drugs and watching little or no television I am now horrified to find how oppressive and distracting the content of television is.

    It’s an ancillary thought to the question of desensitization, I know. But that is the wonderful byproduct of discourse found in blogging—sometimes. Another is the admiration of a fellow blogger.


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