The Dark Side of New Media: #Newtown

December 25th, 2012   •   4 comments   

I am a Mom. That says it all and my kids are my greatest joy, accomplishment, satisfaction in my life, hands down. Nobody can ever imagine the loss of a child. I can’t. What I can say is that gone are the days of privacy, mourning, delay—as the media is relentless and is now combined with social media on steroids to get information from millions of different directions. Some of it is true, lots of it is rumors. In a time of CRISIS, this is a problem. Here are my thoughts as they relate to the tragedies of the days we live in:

1. Horrifying events deserve respect and distance from media posturing. Report the facts, but for crying out loud, when did the media become the voice of what we should think? Most reporters today weighed in on their “opinion” and “thoughts” on the issue. WHAT? Have we lost the gist of what is real?

2. Why do we have to report 24/7 on the issue? Let’s report it. Let’s not create news to keep it going. I turned it off today, as I was sick of the media regurgitating non-news. Is the media in the entertainment or sensational business now? I think maybe.

3. Why do we not respect what has happened and stay clear of the drama posts, judgments, etc. on social channels until after funerals have taken place? It is sad that we have dead children still on the floor of the classrooms (where they were shot) and we are politicizing and glorifying the news story on this.

4. News media: Cover breaking facts and then shut it up. Personally, I am sick of the news media telling us how to think or feel and what is “relevant.” The law enforcement officers asked the media to stay away from families impacted. Of course, they can’t.

5. How do we prevent these tragic events from reoccurring? The answer is not taking guns away.

The whole gun verses anti-gun issue here will be big. I believe guns have been around for way too long to blame it on that. The problem is not guns but people who use them incorrectly—just like anything else. We need armed guards at schools, not only banks and shopping malls. Think on it.


  1. Andy says:

    I don’t think the entire issue is about guns but I also don’t think anyone is arguing all guns should be banned. That is an argument the NRA comes up with to stop people from having a serious discussion about guns. (Along the lines of “You don’t want ALL guns, banned do you?!?!?”)

    That said, guns are PART of the problem. We should ban assault rifles (which private citizen really NEEDS these guys?) and restrict access to high-capacity magazines (so that private hunting clubs could still get them, but make it hard to get for people without a lot of weapons safety training. Again who really NEEDS more than 17 or 18 bullets in clip?) Finally, close loopholes which allow people to get guns without a background check. Guns are not toys and we shouldn’t just sell them to anyone who can make it to a gun show.

    Again, I’m not laying this completely on guns. We need more reform in mental health and it wouldn’t hurt to curb media and gaming violence. However, we can’t say that America’s fascination with guns is without blame. No other first world country has as lax guns laws as we do and similarly, not nearly as much gun violence. It is not a coincidence.

  2. Amy Howell says:

    Andy: Right on with your comments. I think this is an important discussion–one we have at our house often. I read last month that “hate groups” are on the rise due to the economy (recession) and also due to more diversity coming to America (there was a speaker here who talked about the stats). I think our society has real problems and the core of it may center around sadness, hate, depression, etc. which can cause people to use weapons and inflict harm. Very sad and difficult times we live in

    I agree with more background checks. The problem is–the bad guys already have the guns. There is so much illegal gun activity that it is almost impossible to control.

    I hope we don’t see a day where you and I live in fear or have to defend our property or our families. If history repeats itself….we might. What we need is more tolerance, more education, more kindness and more love in this crazy world (And less media glorification of events). Thanks for the comments and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

  3. Joe Klemmer says:

    It seems that things like kindness and empathy have completely gone from our culture. I couldn’t believe it when the reporters were interviewing the kids. It’s like, “Hang the welfare of the children; get the story in NOW! And your comment about the shift from reporting to editorializing is dead on. There are times I just turn the TV off.

    As for the “gun issue,” the biggest problem is that the laws are so drastically different from one state to the next. Uniform laws across the entire country would go a LONG way towards helping. But the fundamental problem is far more complicated than just gun laws or mental health issues.

    What’s the answer? The solution? I don’t have a clue. My son just turned 16 and it’s impossible to keep all the “sex, drugs & hip hop/rock/pop/etc.” from his life. He learned about all that stuff when he was 5 that I didn’t know until I was a teen. But you can’t go live in a cave.

  4. Amy howell says:

    Joe! Great comments. I totally get what you mean about raising kids. My son is 16 as well. My daughter turns 13 in a few…difficult times we live in. Very sad & very hard. I don’t know what we do but we go to church more, pray & try hard to hold to key values. Thanks for the comment. Maybe we can use the kindness revolution to sway the tide

Leave a Reply