There used to be a show on the now defunct G4 Network called Attack Of The Show which was required viewing for the geek set. I’d watch the Monday to Thursday episodes while on the treadmill. At first, it was enjoyable, but over time I found myself less motivated to get on the treadmill. Eventually I realized that the show had morphed from a light hearted fun show to a dark and insensitive one.
Every episode started with a segment called Around The Net which featured viral videos followed by commentary. Over time the funny cat videos gave way to videos of people getting hurt while performing dangerous acts such as diving into a pool from the roof of a house. The thing that bugged me was that the hosts would laugh at the injuries. To be clear, none of the videos were fatal, but there were serious injuries. The underlying rationale was always that the participants were stupid and foolish for attempting such acts in the first place.
Don’t we lose a bit of our humanity by laughing at those that are humiliated and injured? YouTube is filled with videos of people getting into fights while onlookers record, laugh and taunt instead of helping. Just yesterday, I saw a video where one man held a sausage in his mouth while another attempted to slice the sausage with a sword. Instead of cutting the sausage, the sword bearer cut off most of his friend’s nose.
To me the footage was horrifying. But to many, it was hilarious. One commentator quipped, “I think the guy nose not to do that again.” Another asked, “Who nose?”
I often wonder if the Internet is desensitizing us, making us increasingly inhumane, or if the Internet is simply reflecting a lack of humanity.
These are my 300 words for the day. I am Ralph M. Rivera.
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