I recently read a story about a group of teenagers who had videoed a 31 year old man stumbling into a pond and subsequently drowning. No one ran to help him. No one called the police. No one was empathic towards his suffering. Instead the boys continued to video the event while mocking him and watching him die. Later, while speaking with police, none of the boys expressed a sense of remorse for their lack of action or callous disregard for human life.
This story might be an outlier, but it does raise the question: are screens stealing our empathy? I would say, yes, they can if we allow them to.
Empathy develops as we make healthy attachments with those around us as children. If everyone is stuck behind a screen we’re losing out on the valuable interaction that teaches body language, and eye contact, enabling us to understand the emotions of those around us.
Screens steal our empathy by creating an alternate reality. We have trouble separating real pain from something pretend or imagined.
In the end we lose our humanity along with our empathy. We need to be intentional about cultivating empathy and making conscious choices to go against the tidal wave of social pressure, standing up for what’s right.
Remember what it says in 2 Corinthians 5:20…
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NLT)
We can’t be an ambassador for Christ when we are void of empathy.
What are your thoughts on screens and empathy? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you. Don’t miss next week’s video on how to develop empathy. It’s never too late!
And a big thank you Counselors:
Carrie Farrell, Esther Kim, Kristal Mathis For consulting with me on this series and to His Heart Foundation for supporting this channel.
If you want more in-depth mental health information for you and those you love check out Mental Health Academy today.
For more on Empathy: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw&t=34s
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