Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Wednesday Chattery - Sharing Graphic Violence on Social Media - How Much is Too Much?

In a little break from the normal joviality and messing I'd like to chat about something more serious today. If this isn't your thing, do please mosey on past - there's plenty of happy haps to counterbalance this chat. 

I wanted to touch on something this morning that's divided my Facebook timeline like no other subject of late. The sharing of harrowing, graphically violent images and videos. 

There's not one of us unaware of the violent unrest and persecution happening in several cities around the globe this year. The evolution of social media and technology have brought war zones right into our homes and into our very hands. 

Don't get me wrong, I strongly believe that the world should know about the atrocities being carried out and we should all try, as best we can, to educate ourselves as to what's happening - and yes, recognise the senselessness in the tortures and murders. 

My difficulty is with graphically violent imagery and videos being shared and reshared through Facebook. One such video, that autoplayed, last week has literally haunted me since. Every time my mind has wandered it's flashed in front of me. Every night before bed I remember it and ruminating on the last living moments of those pictured upsets me deeply.

Every time I've spoken to my lads since, a sudden realisation that the boys I saw were someone else's lads, another mother's babies hits me and it almost takes my breath away. I've been deeply scarred for having seen it. Even so I feel genuinely ashamed of myself for even thinking about my own hurt feelings or mental wellbeing when there are people, just like me and like my lads actually living and dying this way every day. Realistically all it's costing me is dark thoughts or occasional sleepless nights. All of which futile because there's not one thing I can do to help.  

My question today is thus: How much is too much when it comes to social media sharing? I'm not talking about news reporters or journalists sharing the stories as they happen. I'm talking about our friends, family and relations sharing deeply disturbing images and videos on their personal Facebook pages that you would never see in mainstream media. Or do you believe we should be seeing these images? Have you shared them? 

How much is too much? Or is there such a thing?

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