A couple of things have come up in the media recently that have led me to consider and question the civility of the “civilized” world. The realities of living in a society with more information at our fingertips than any other generation lends itself to all kinds of abuses. But what I have seen in the past couple of days highlights a problem that I have not been able to name.
So I will try to describe the problem and you see if you can give me a title for it. The first incident, is the awareness that news sources have boasted a live video feed from Ferguson, MO allowing live coverage of the riots. Just click a link on your computer and you get the opportunity to maybe see something go down!! In the name of ever present news, we can be informed up to the moment with live coverage of evil events.
The second event is the gruesome and horrendous video of the beheading of an American journalist. Obviously, the production of this video is not a direct result of Western culture, but the availability of it is. I believe the video has now been taken down, but grotesque, macabre, and violent videos are readily available all over the interwebs.
Youtube can be whatever you want it to be. It can be a voyeuristic place for skin, humor, violence, or any bizarre mix of anything in between (even cats!).
My conclusion is that there is an prevalent connectedness to world events, violence, and bizarre news that incites curiosity for unhealthy things in the average American. I remember watching a video shot in the back room of a convenience store as a tornado ripped through. Everybody survived. And I was moved to tears as I watched people, pray, confess wrongs, ask for forgiveness, cry out in fear, and clearly anticipate their own death. There was something uncomfortable about being included in that moment. It felt like a removing of the dignity of those people that felt no less voyeuristic than if they had removed their clothing. I regret watching it. I cannot define what was wrong about watching it. I cannot put a word on it. But it seems like it has something to do with dignity, the image of God, the sanctity of life, and the right to privacy all being shattered by an intrusive voyeurism.
Can you think of a title for this problem? Have you ever identified a line of discomfort in the intrusion of video into the personal lives of others? I look forward to your interaction on this!