Social media is making us desensitized

desensitaion-illustration-fire
Illustration by Eduardo Velasquez

The world is on fire but we don’t feel the heat anymore. Or at least that’s how it feels while doom scrolling on my phone in the middle of the night. With social media playing such a big role in our daily lives, it has become hard to not be aware whenever a major crisis is happening. But I find it’s also hard to care about it.

Take the forest fires here in California for example, according to CAL FIRE the five biggest fires in our history happened between 2018 – 2021, but we don’t bat an eye at the mention of a forest fire anymore. 

In fact, whenever forest fire season rolls around my feed is filled with memes about how it’s another gender reveal gone wrong.

In today’s world it seems that there is nothing we as a society won’t make jokes about. No matter how severe something is. The thought behind this for a lot of us is “we laugh about it so we don’t cry about it,” but I believe this hurts us more than helps us.   

Laughing about these crises can undermine the severity of them, making it seem like a smaller deal than they actually are. If we don’t take these events seriously then we just see them as another trend and don’t feel pressured to do something about it.

To us fires are yesterday’s news and hardly ever pass our feed. This hurts us because we only look at quick fixes for these issues instead of long term solutions. It seems that we only care about an issue until our feed refreshes.

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Eduardo Velasquez
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