I hear all the time that people (and Americans in general) are far less empathetic than the preceding generations have been.Ã‚Â A story breaks about a tragedy overseas, and most of us think "Oh! How terrible!" for about three seconds before returning to our normal, daily routine.Ã‚Â I just did a quick search on Google news for "murder," and foundÃ‚Â ~135k stories posted in the past hour.Ã‚Â The past HOUR.Ã‚Â And yet, I'm not even slightly perturbed.Ã‚Â I'm surprised on an intellectual level, but I'm not even slightly worried, concerned or paranoid.Ã‚Â My apathy, frankly, is overwhelming.
How did this happen?Ã‚Â Am I a member of a society without morality and conscience?Ã‚Â Have we lost our natural empathy towards each other?Ã‚Â I don't think so.
We simply operate in a world with a far greater stockpile of information than we can ever hope to fully condense and understand.Ã‚Â We don't have the emotional capacity to take in all the wonderful things that happen, and we don't have the resilience to feel badly for all the things that go wrong.Ã‚Â Essentially, the media has made us more objective - the smaller things don't mean as much in light of the bigger issues faced by people across the world.
Is this new perspective a poor one?Ã‚Â I don't think so.