CHICAGO (TNS) — In the days after the 9/11 attacks, mental health experts pleaded that the public not steep themselves and their families in the wall-to-wall footage of death and terror.
The experts explained that feasting yourself on images of traumatic events may lead to serious mental and physical aftereffects resulting from anxiety, panic and the feeling of helplessness. How many people need to hear this same message today?
Parents, especially of teens, need to understand the power of such images and their discussions. Young people at an age when social protest, social justice and poor impulse control are defining characteristics can fall victim to desperation, anger and feelings of overwhelming vulnerability from seeing so much carnage.
Unfortunately unlike in 2001, parents can’t just turn off the family TV. We are almost unavoidably submerged in relentless internet news coverage and social media chatter that seem nearly impossible to tune out.
And there’s an ugliness to it all. Though surely many of the millions of people captivated by the racial strife and violence roiling our country are concerned seekers of knowledge, a large share of consumers of the aftermath have contributed to it becoming something of a spectator event.