Social media is making us numb


Sequoia Salazar

These students sit in the hallway on their phones, texting instead of interacting with one another.

Danika Shane, Reporter

High school students are all prone to be on their phones 24/7, whether scrolling through Facebook or taking selfies with Snapchat. The statistics from the data collected on Social Media Use by Aaron Smith and Monica Anderson says, between the ages of 18-29, 88 percent are on their phones the majority of the time. With all the scrolling, what are they seeing?

From a less tech-savvy person, Percy Stovall, a senior citizen stated, “When I was a kid, of course, media was nonexistent but we still had the radio. We heard of the news and the violence, but I feel as though having all of that in your hands with your phones, you have such an accessible way to see any of the news you wish. When I was younger, I definitely didn’t see as much as someone of the same age would see now.”

The average American child will see 200,000 violent acts and witness 16,000 murders on TV by the time they are 18, based on the article, The Numbing Effect of Media Violence from Psychology Today by Arthur Dobrin.

Of course, in recent news, students see all the school shootings, the deaths, and the fights. Yet students might not truly understand the consequence of the events unfolding under their fingers.

A 2009 study by Brad Bushman and Craig Anderson, found that exposure to unwarranted violence in the media reduces the offering help to people in pain. So the question is, does media make us less likely to help someone in need?

Asking if he thought violent video games makes you less like to help people put when in need. James Johnson, a video game player, and Senior responded with “I’m gonna say it’s a hit or miss when playing violent games. For me and the friends I knew in the past, it doesn’t seem like it desensitizes us but what we have seen I mean it very likely could.”

   Media has more of an impersonal feel so students within society become less affected by deaths and shootings. Do students at this school feel like playing games like Fortnite or Call of Duty makes them less likely to help someone out?
      Andrew Young, platform Medium, stated, “While I get that we have to make light so some really dark stories or we would forever be miserable and disheartened with the world I don’t want that to be at the cost of people caring what is happening to their country or their communities. It may be that this isn’t the case, that people really do understand the severity of news when it breaks worldwide but I think we might have all had that little escapism through a funny tweet or video I just hope that we don’t move completely towards the parodies and way from the reality.”

 This brings to light the fact that maybe memes desensitize the severity of the issue. Is it truly just a way to bring light to a serious situation?

   Media will always be such an easy accessible thing and can be switched any which way to form anyone’s opinion. We can’t escape the holds of it always being around us as a society but since it always will be around, does it make us truly desensitized?