Well, it is a little frustrating but the Mr Robot final has been delayed by a week due to similarities in it’s content to a recent matter seen on television in the States. It seems that this is truly a case of art imitating life, or the other way around.
The easy beat up would be to turn this into a gun debate, that guns should be outlawed and that they are the sole reason that anyway ever dies, but that is an easy subject and one which gets people emotional, quickly. But the gun debate is a cheap one and we aren’t going there.
Where we are going is the fear that I have seen come up from the shooting in Virginia and the idea that people are more at risk in their workplaces than ever before. “What is happening to the world?” is an oft heard question wondering where we have gone wrong and that the world isn’t as safe as it may have been but a decade or more ago.
But as with many statements that are based on emotion, this isn’t the case at all. Research suggests that we are living in one of the most peaceful times of human existence, so why is it that we believe otherwise?
It is a quite simple answer, due to the fact that we are more exposed to adverse events that happen to other people and we are at the whim of the 24 hour news cycle we are more likely (due to exposure) to believe that negative things can and will happen to us as well. In the past you could get information from the television (only at news times), newspapers and the radio, all of which had their black spots – for example, newspapers are only updated once per day and therefore only the most important news will make it to a late edition.
Now we can have the news whenever we want it (and even when we don’t want it) We are bombarded by updates on electronic tickers on buildings in cities, it is on our telephones and our social feeds are taken over by stories of bad things that have happened in the world, which helps us to keep this information current and relevant in our mind. If we see something happen somewhere in the world we immediately feel that it may be possible to happen to us as well, and we are then in a position to make the statements of “Isn’t the world a dangerous place.” Because when it comes to danger we aren’t necessarily the greatest judges, and we would prefer to believe something could happen, versus pretending it won’t and then getting caught off guard.
I’m not saying that individual lives do not matter, but when a single murder is the top headline on a general news website 5000 kilometres away, doesn’t that say something about the attempts of attention grabbing of mainstream media?
Statistics indicate that we are not at greater risk of most things than we have been before. Medical advances mean we don’t die as young, and as mentioned above we are in the most peaceful time in human existence. So are we really at greater risk or is it just E-Corp doing it’s job yet again, keeping us fearful so that we will purchase more product to make us feel safe?
I look forward to your views.