True empathy amidst awareness overload

Bethany Keeley-Jonker

John Van Sloten
June 3, 2013

I agree that our 24/7, 'if it bleeds it leads', media culture drains our empathy resources. Never really thought of it in terms of it's impact on local, less newsworthy needs. Thanks for pointing that out Bethany. I think our ubiquitous exposure to tragedy is also skews us in another way; leaving us with a perception that the world is way more broken than it really is.

Esther Aspling
June 4, 2013

I'm a news junky, and can easily get sucked in to the tragedies all over the globe, especially those involving children (I have 6 of my own).
One thing I don't do, is give to those causes. I know they need money, and volunteers, but I don't have much to give (hardly anything) and giving to those nearby makes a bigger impact when it is in person.
I truly believe you can have a larger impact when you build relationships along with giving.


Josh Larsen
TC Staff
June 4, 2013

Your last point is the aspect that's been troubling me about this phenomenon, John. I don't want to shut myself off from the troubles of the world, but at the same time if that's all I consume I'm in danger of losing sight of the beauty of God's Kingdom. Maybe for every half hour of news consumption I should devote an hour to a nature walk.

June 4, 2013

John, I think there is research data to support your concern, sometimes called "mean world syndrome." Many people perceive crime and violence to be a bigger problem than it actually is. I like Josh's idea of counteracting the effect with a nature walk. One nice thing about social media is it exposes us a bit to the everyday joy of our friends in addition to the sadness in the news.

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