Is It Our Fault for Giving Them Permission?

When I got home, my dad was watching the news. 

There were news of murder, theft, rape, and other crime. Business as usual, so it seems. 

Then, the celebrity news followed—news of excessive lifestyle. Lifestyle that we can only dream of. (Well, at least most of us. Until we realize that we don't like living in excess. There's better use of our excess resources, right?)

A stark contrast. Scary, even. How can both possibly exist in the same world? But, that's for another blog post. 

I'm still on an emotional ride because of my read through of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point. 

In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell shared how a single suicide case in Micronesia led to an epidemic of young people, especially young boys, taking their own lives. 

There were many reasons, of course. But, one reason that was striking to me was that one suicide case gave the young boys "permission" to take their own lives.

It's not permission that he explicitly gave to those who followed suit. It's permission that he gave through example. The young boys were influenced by simply being informed of what transpired.

For some troubled kids, it gave them a way out of their problems. It gave them an example to follow. For some, it aroused curiosity of what suicide would be like. Surprising? I know. There was even a young boy who didn't want to die. He just wanted to try committing suicide and see what it was like. Unfortunately, suicide is not something you try and then live to talk about. The young boy died. 

There's nothing wrong with giving a picture of the truth. We all deserve the truth. But, our media nowadays show what's wrong more than what's right. They condition us to focus on the negative few when there are a lot more positive going on. Everyday, they are giving us a picture of hopelessness. Sadly, they are not aware that they are also arousing curiosity regarding what it's like to commit crime. They are giving people permission to do what they show on TV—mostly crime. They give permission especially to the desperate people (desperate because of the system) to commit crime by giving them a way out. "If so many people are doing it, why can't I? If it's business as usual, then, what's new (or news) if I do it?"

But, it's not only the media's fault. It's also our fault as a society. For not taking action. For not doing something about the problems around us. For not doing something about the system. For simply accepting things as they are. For not doing something about what the media show on TV. And for consuming what the media give us. 

After all, they only give us what sells. Apparently, negative news sell.

As a first step, why don't we change what we consume on media? Even social media. We, the consumers, after all, have the power and we exercise this power through what we consume.

As for the celebrity news, they also sell. Unfortunately, they also give us permission to live in excess. To be indifferent. To be blind to what's happening to people on the other end of the spectrum.

Again, we have the power to change this by changing what we consume. 

If you have a friend working in media, can you do something simple for me? It will only require a few clicks and typing a few words on your keyboard. Can you share this post with him or her? Maybe we might be able to reach those who make the decisions regarding what to show on TV. 

You may also want to share this with your family and friends and change what they consume on media as well. Let's change what sells. 

Who knows? Maybe this single post can change the world. Or maybe it cannot. But, it's better than doing nothing, right?

You can also add your thoughts in the comments below and expand this post. Maybe by adding your thoughts, we can start a revolution. 

Let's shake things up. One small act can make a huge difference.