It’s funny what events bring humans together. As taboo and odd enough as it is, tragedy often is one of the deepest connections people feel. All of us can think of a time in our lives when we’ve heard a horrible story and somewhere within us, we feel a connection; a bond between two strangers who have experienced a similar negative event in their lives.
Now because this connection within tragedy is fact, it comes to no surprise that media feeds off of this. And in what way, you may ask?
On an average day, humans have more negative things to think/say/feel about others than they do positive things. Yet, when a news story comes in hot off the presses, humans shed all of their identities: race, religion, political party, age, etc. People bond together off of the primitive connection of compassion and empathy. Even people who regularly are viewed as that asshole who wouldn’t feel an ounce of empathy if his life depended on it, suddenly become the Dalai Lama.
In most recent news is the verdict on the Casey Anthony trial. People are outraged over a tragedy (well in actuality, a double tragedy: Caylee’s death and Caylee’s injustice). You can visually see and physically hear the connection spreading from human to human, across borders. Social forums and chat rooms are filled with people coming together to take a stand against injustice. People in elevators, at newsstands on the street corner, and in line at the pharmacy are beginning fiery conversations about how the world just doesn’t make sense these days.
One sad story and we forget all of the irrelevant things that normally keep us all so far apart. Ironic, right?
The downside to this is that the media financially benefits off of this primal connection. We talk so much about the current news events in our social settings, where would we be without the news broadcast, newspaper, and online news sites? I suppose we’d be losing a larger connection to humanity than we may realize.
But no matter how much the media benefits financially, they cannot benefit as much as humans do when we share that five minutes bonding and connecting with a stranger over that bitch, Casey.