Ok, new blog today.  One I’m actually writing.  I realized it’s been awhile.  Lately I seem to spend probably too much time reading and watching items on Upworthy.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s all really good stuff, but even too much of  a good thing can be bad… well in this case too time consuming.  Sometimes a person just needs to immerse themselves in distractions for a while and as I found myself experiencing that need, I think I managed to choose a distraction that at least engaged my mind and motivated me to look more deeply at myself and my own beliefs and actions.

Sensationalism: (especially in journalism) the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement.

One of the pieces that was about homelessness got me thinking about sensationalization in the media and other areas. What does it really take to make society stop and take notice?  It seems that at times media, organizations, business will do just about anything to get the head line, get noticed, get the customer.  You need to turn heads, stand out above and beyond the competition.   I’ve always taken a very dim view of this idea.  I mean really, how dumb do they think I am?  Don’t they realize that most of us will see through that?  Feels a bit unethical, manipulative and in my opinion unnecessary.  Give the right message, ask the right questions, do the right things and people do what they need to do without this ridiculous sensationalism.  Right? And then I watched the video, “A Guy Hung An Offensive Sign Around His Neck To Make A Solid Point And It Worked” (Ok, long title, but the video is only 1:20 so watch it and come right back.)

F**** The Homeless.  I had the same reactions as the people in the video.  Sensational, rude, disgusting, vile, vulgar… you get the picture.  I was angry!  Of course he was going to get a reaction. And then the ending… those last 20 seconds or so… that somehow snuck up on me.  I mean, I’m getting pretty good at guessing what’s going to happen in videos lately, but I missed this one somehow. And the apathy stopped me in my tracks.  It really did.  Not just because it made me feel a little ashamed of the human race as a whole, but because I realized I had been completely and utterly wrong. I probably, more than likely, would have done the same thing as everyone else.  I would have been angered and motivated to do something by the in my face, sensationalized approach, I just may have even done something for the homeless right there and then.  I would have felt righteously enraged.  And I would just have likely walked right by the gentle person asking for the right thing, doing things the right way, giving the right message.

We Know You Care.

But what do we do about it,  how do we show it?  And when? This hasn’t really changed my attitude about sensationalism but it changed my attitude about myself.  And I’m definitely working on that.  As Lily Tomlin said,

I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.

Oh and just in case anyone is wondering…. I do know you’re really not supposed to start a sentence with “and” or “but”, but it’s my blog, and today, I’m a rebel. Thanks for stopping by.  Join the conversation on Facebook. ©2014 JFries/Rise Like Air