Parkin: Violent Entertainment Kills Compassion

By Natalie Parkin

Violence. Guns. Murder. Abuse. Rape. These topics can, and should, be quite disturbing. They carry a lot of weight in our society in negative ways. These are not topics that should be ignored nor treated lightly. Recent events in America have proven this to us with school shootings and the #MeToo movement.

However, when these topics are described or shown to us in a Hollywood movie, a video game, a short YouTube video or even a picture on the internet, they are treated as no more than entertainment. We view violence and murder in video games and action movies as exciting. We view pornography and sex as thrilling, even if one’s partner has not consented. News of rape and abuse have simply become news viewed by many and soon forgotten.

Think about the violence filling media. In most video games, a player often has to kill, shoot and destroy on their way to victory. Violence, action, sex and explosions make movies intriguing to audiences — for example, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Marvel superhero movies and the Bourne film series.

This has been a concern for many and should be to all. As a society, we have been rewired to think murder, violence, abuse and tragic events are nothing more than split second entertainment. We treat them as topics we can simply turn off.

It has become a part of our daily lives, our nightly entertainment and our an escape. We are constantly exposed to it. The average adult today spends eight hours and 41 minutes on digital devices, such as laptops, phones and televisions, according to the Daily Mail. As a result, whether in real life, on the news or in entertainment, we are surrounded by these topics daily.

What’s unfortunate and somewhat terrifying, is that we’ve gotten used to it in our society. These heart-wrenching situations no longer shock us as it should when a building blows up or a gunman takes the lives of several individuals. It only seems to shock us when the event is close to home. If it doesn’t, and if it occurs to people we do not know, we feel close to nothing.

We are losing compassion due to this constant exposure. Society today has brainwashed us to believe what is wrong and horrifying is somehow right and acceptable.

It is time we confront our lack of compassion and view these situations as the horrors they truly are. These topics are not meant to be viewed on our phone screens only. They should prick humanity’s hearts knowing their brothers and sisters are in desperate need. They should be a call to action. They should call to you.

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