Do you remember what happened two weeks ago? Sixteen days later and the prayers, charity concerts, and celebrity reactions are all over with. The temporary profile pictures on Facebook are disappearing, and the sympathetic hashtags are being replaced with the usual #tbt, #tagsforlikes, and #photooftheday.
When, if ever, will we start to do more? We have become numb to tragedies like the Las Vegas shooting, and it seems the most we ever do is send our “prayers” via social media. As the death toll increases, these events become normal and we see each one as just another shooting. Unfortunately, prayers aren’t going to cut it.
The recovery from these shootings is becoming shorter and shorter, and that’s not a good thing. After the Paris terrorist attacks, temporary profile pictures on Facebook, with a French flag superimposed over smiling faces, filled news feeds for months.
After the Las Vegas attacks, one of the deadliest attacks in modern U.S. history, we saw less impact. Tweets, news links, Instagram photos, even petitions for gun control spread around social media for a few days. And now, nothing. Are you still talking about it?
We want to stress the importance of a follow-up. Month after month, tragedy after tragedy, we become more desensitized. Will we eventually cease to care at all? Will the amount of deaths be only numbers to us, rather than individual humans? In addition to expressing frustration and grief, we need to take action. As students and as young people, we can call our congressmen and plead for more regulations on gun control.
We can create care packages for victims and families of the victims. We can speak out and draw support in our own communities. The possibilities are endless. Even after initial event is over, people still suffer. We just cannot afford to not care anymore, if these tragedies keep occurring.
Will Las Vegas cross your mind the next time terrorism and shootings strike the world? Or will your eyes glaze over the news headlines, since it seems like you have heard the same story a dozen times before?