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The black mirror

There’s possibly nothing more chilling than seeing life imitate art. A few years back, I had watched an episode of the renowned series Black Mirror. For those of you who don’t know what I’m on about, the series is a science fiction anthology which explores the dark paths which new technologies may lead us down. What makes the series so compelling is the fact that it hits really close to home with the scenarios it creates, and the way people react to them.

The particular episode I’m writing about involved people carelessly filming a scared, mentally tortured person with their phones. No one did anything to help, no one spoke up: they just stalked the person silently, making sure not to miss a single second of the person’s anguish. It was an emotionally traumatic episode which I didn’t forget but it certainly wasn’t as horrible as seeing something similar happen in real life.

If someone sends you something which involves another human being degraded or decimated, stop sharing it

A few weeks ago a friend of mine sent me a video that had been circulating on the internet for a few hours. I don’t want to get into the nature of what I saw, because to speak of it would be to participate in another’s pain, but what did shock me was people’s reactions to it. In the video there was a person who seemed vulnerable, who was definitely not in what one would describe as a good state of mind, yet despite these obvious characteristics, people were both cruel as well as unrelenting in the things they were saying.

The number of viewers kept going up and so did the horrific comments and yet hardly anyone was showing empathy or compassion to the shocking state they were witnessing. It was as if they were talking about an inanimate object which had no feelings. It was a sad day for humanity and an even sadder one for me.

This week yet another video was being circulated showing the exact moment when someone had been stabbed and although thankfully, I didn’t watch that, I know of many people who had unwittingly found themselves participating in something horrific beyond all imaginable decency.

I don’t know when it became commonplace to have a front row seat to everything from mental illness to death itself, but what I do know is that our attitude as a society towards it has become unspeakably monstrous. If someone sends you something which involves another human being degraded or decimated, stop sharing it and in the name of all that is decent try to have a shred of humanity and don’t post the disgusting comments I’ve unwittingly stumbled upon.

I don’t care if the person shared it himself; you should feel like you have a moral duty not to become a participant in another person’s pain. It shouldn’t take so much energy to show some sympathy; I see many human beings, but very little humanity.

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