Friday, November 19, 2010

Apathy R US

So, I've been thinking about this whole incident with Bill Nye the Science Guy.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, Bill Nye was doing a presentation at USC, as he was approaching the podium, he collapsed.  No one went to his side to see if he needed help, but a bunch of students pulled out their cell phones and began twittering the play by play.

Now, I'm going to give the students and staff the benefit of the doubt here, because it's what I do.  One account said it was only for about ten seconds, so that wouldn't be enough time to leave your seat in the audience, approach the stage, and help.  Also, our reaction time to such things would probably take that long.  I mean, if I saw someone faint, my first reaction would be wtf is this part of the show, my second reaction would be holy shit someone should do something, my third, holy shit I should do something.  

That being said, I do think we live in an apathetic society and maybe we've become jaded by technology.  When someone collapses we think first to update our Twitter or Facebook status because we've just experience something interesting rather than to call 9-1-1.  And let's face it, our college students today have been branded generation "Y" for good reason.  They are the entitled generation, raised on television, Internet, and video games.  Never taught to care about anything but instant self gratification.  Maybe that's a little harsh, and yes, I'm generalizing, but there is some truth to that.

But, would I stop for someone in need?  Probably not, more for safety reasons that anything else.  But would I call 9-1-1 before Tweeting?  Definitely.
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John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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