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Desensitized: On Social Media Detoxing & Fight Videos

I’ve always been pretty squeamish watching action movies despite it being my favorite type of movie to indulge in. I hate horror films, can enjoy a romantic comedy here and there, and because I love to laugh, pile on the comedy – just not stupid comedy like Step Brothers.

Any scenes where Vin Diesel and The Rock are plummeting each other I am literally watching, cringing, and closing my eyes all at once.

I am the same person who unfollows and unfriends anyone who enjoys posting fight videos. Shrugs.

I say all that to say, I refuse to watch any videos – particularly this latest Cleveland Facebook Live shooting – where black men and women are gunned down or are gunning someone else down. I literally cannot bear to watch the real life violence. And I literally cannot deal with how much we have romanticized the violence.

Black man gunned down, shrugs.
Black women beating each other up Bad Girls Club style, shrugs.
Black boys fighting in the streets of some suburb or McDonalds, double shrugs.

All this shrugging, retweeting, sharing, and faux outrage comments of “I cannot believe this” or “where are the parents” or “this breaks my heart” has become a cocktail of digital vodka I refuse to consume.

Apparently, this makes me less “woke” simply because I am turning a “blind eye.” However, that perception of my level of “wokeness” is fine with me. I will not sacrifice my mental health with these visual atrocities when my imagination does enough of the work for me while reading the article.

I do not want to become desensitized to the sheer amount of violence plaguing our world today. It’s far too easy to feel powerless when nearly every one is sharing videos and pictures of atrocities like young boys and girls going blow for blow. Those words of: never put your hands on a woman are merely falling on deaf ears.

We are literally tone deaf.

Every day something new is taking over our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds – social media detoxing has become a regular thing. I remain outraged daily.

Angry. Defeated. Disgusted. Exhausted. Sad. So, damn sad.

The Cleveland shooting aired on Facebook Live is the latest string of events I won’t open my eyes to consume. It begs the question of whether the live function on both Instagram and Facebook is even worth it; I get that the company is competing with Snapchat but we really don’t need three different apps functioning to provide the same thing, especially since the platform is now being pimped out for videos like these.

As a big sister, aunt, and coach at a high school to a team of teenage girls, I am deeply concerned at where their sensitivity level lies. Watching 13 Reasons Why also isn’t helping. We live in a world of “get over it” and the need for attention in figuring out or not figuring out how to get over it is the new normal.

I want to keep cringing and the sight of blood. I won’t allow myself to become desensitized to ruthless acts simply because social media prefers we all be updated – I can spare myself some details.

Give yourself a social media break. Ask yourself what still shocks you, what scares you, what do you want the younger generation to feel – because I can tell you, in the emotion department, this generation seems to feel a lot less compared to my teenage days.

As we become more and more desensitized, I’ve also noticed through the funnel of social media we’re becoming outraged for everything. If it’s tweeted then we need to find any issue – every action simply does not require a reaction.

But that isn’t retweetable though.

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About Alley Olivier

Alley Olivier is a Kanye West fan hype off caffeine or Jameson, depending on the time of day. A too-proud Brooklyn, New York native, Alley has two-stepped her pen skills at digital and print publications including KarenCivil.com, Ebony Magazine, and Caribbean Life newspaper. Her greatest accomplishment and No.1 focus is being the managing editor of BrooklynButtah.com - leading a great team and handling all of the site's supporting entities. Freelancing every-so-often, she selfishly keeps her best pieces exclusively for BrooklynButtah. Follow her pursuits for good food, dope experiences, and amazing interviews @AlleyOlivier_ #AlleyPurp

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