I’ve been watching the news today regarding the devastating school shooting tragedy in Connecticut. My heart truly aches for the families who have been affected by this senseless act of violence. These children were defenseless and I can’t imagine the fear that embodied each and every one of these students and teachers.
As the story continued to unfold this morning, I was struck by some comments one of the Fox News affiliates, Keith Ablow, made concerning “warning signs” and what some of the video games, reality television and Facebook is doing to “reality” for society today. He began by saying that one of his greatest fears for society today is the “diminished empathy” people have for one another as a whole. “It’s seemed to take people to a fictional realm. People feel less for one another. He continued that “It leaves people who are vulnerable to these acts of violence or “violently ill” if you will, to consider others even less than ever before.”
He shares one of my greatest fears. Video games, Facebook, music and reality television have in a sense created their own “reality”. Teens and some young adults do not know where the line is anymore and have become so desensitized to violence, that they don’t understand the devastation that comes after a shooting or similar act of violence. What they are seeing on a video screen is NOT reality. The games they are playing are not reality. The music they are listening to is making their hearts believe that drug use, violence and gangs are okay. The reality is… it’s not, hasn’t ever been and never will be okay.
PARENTS…. I cannot emphasize this enough. It is SO important to be “present” in your child’s life. Look at their posts on Facebook. Look at the pictures that they are taking, looking at, posting and sharing. Are the pictures they are posting violent? Take notice to what music they are listening to. Is the music sad and talking about death or drug use? Are the video games they are asking you to buy violent… what is the rating? Are they withdrawn? Are you actually talking to them about what is going on in their lives? If your child is showing signs of trouble, HELP THEM! I can promise you this …. Their behavior is giving you warning signs you need to pay attention to.