Sensational – Sensationalize – Sensationalism by Robert Socha
We look for it everywhere, in the latest box office extravaganza or the latest headlines written for bait-clicking.
We look for it in the paparazzi’s celebrity gossip and hope our phones catch something we can upload to our profile to sensationalize.
The more sensational, the more apt we are to share it, especially when the subject matter defies logic.
Have you ever considered why there is an incessant desire to spread the word? What is the underlying motivation? I understand that newsworthy items with incredible shock value are very tempting to pass along, and some things are so bizarre that they are funny. (My father always used to tell me, “Robert, the truth is stranger than fiction.”) Is spreading the news to pass along the information, or does it fall into gossip? I don’t know any one person’s intention, but I do know something firsthand, and it can be a terrible burden.
There is a human being on the other side of sensationalism. If that person has conquered some majestic feat, that is worthy of being shared. On the other hand, if that person has fallen into indiscretion and does something uncharacteristic, what is the value in sharing that for the world to see? The preponderance of these types of photos and videos has caused many lives to go awry.
For example, I have seen videos of road rage castigating the man so violently engaged in a cloud of negativity. I am not defending his actions, but the man is dealing with some ferocity to behave this way, and I’m not sure the public exposure is a net positive. However, public flogging and humiliation are fantastic tools to remind people that decency is in order and must be observed. How else can a man come to his senses?
I’m thinking out loud here because life tends to throw extremely challenging circumstances on all men, and their ability to deal with the event manifests itself in peculiar ways. Now we must have standards for men to follow and behave, or society devolves into anarchy, and that would be a terrible curse for any people.
Political theatre has morphed into gaslighting and satire, where nothing is sacred. I am torn between the idea that these men and women chose to enter the arena and anything goes. Nevertheless, many political scandals are inundated with a deluge of unnecessary information. For example, when the Hunter Biden laptop scandal surfaced, it fit the newsworthy scandal and should still be investigated thoroughly. I think Biden’s son’s character could have been explained in words, without publishing his indiscreet screenshots. It is apparent that man has many demons clawing for control, and I wonder if publishing the imprudence could ever be proper in a civilized society.
Okay, have we ever been civil? I have read the record of our parliamentary debates on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1800s. Once, a senator was beaten with a cane in the Senate chamber in 1856 because of his abolitionist stance, and English gentlemen shouted down William Wilberforce as he led the charge to outlaw the slave trade.
Another dichotomy: yes, I want free speech. I also wish for men to exercise self-control. I hope men have a sense of honor and decency. I desire men who can expose the darkness without belittling or exploiting events for personal gain, whether from a simple laugh to an online post or a horrific quid pro quo. I want men held accountable for their misdeeds, especially public servants, and I want it done with propriety. I want newsmen to act honorably and truly print news, not propaganda. Unfortunately, the amount of money in the industry has quite a control of that situation.
It used to be that one could shame someone into a character change without directly attacking the man. It used to be that men’s conscience would hold them to a higher standard, at least publicly, and society demanded prudence. But, unfortunately, the bonds of wickedness and no fear of God have caused a desire in the masses to find and expose the most minute details of impropriety. Mainly for the thought of financial gain, though I digress. Again, sometimes it is necessary to disclose minute details.
I hope that we will remember there are many variables to every situation and that it would be prudent in our postings and commentary to consider each case carefully before commenting and publishing for all the world to see. Is what we are publishing helpful or hurtful? Would any of us want our struggles played out in the public forum to be dissected and ridiculed? Remember, a human being is on the other side of these videos and stories. Remember, too, they are eking out their existence and in need of a Savior, just like we all endeavor.
I wonder if public scolding without a personal attack would affect a man’s soul and if an act of kindness could help change a man to repent and turn to God and faith, hope, and charity.
About the Author
Robert Socha, BIO Robert Socha (so-ha), was born in southern California. He served 5 years 3 months active duty in the United States Air Force; honorably. After his service he took an Associate’s Degree in Practical Theology, where, through his studies, developed a deep love of God and Country and sincere appreciation of the value of Liberty. Robert and his beloved wife of 21-plus years are raising 4 beautiful Texan children. They moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, in 2013, to put their children in Hillsdale Academy. Robert is a sales professional. He and his wife consider Michigan a hidden gem, and absolutely love this city and state (current political environment notwithstanding) they’ve adopted.