大眾電信與人際關係 ~ Mass Communication and Interpersonal Relations
去年聖誕節，一個四十二嵗自己住的英國女生故意地過量用藥，同時在臉書上告訴她一千多朋友她正在自殺 。有的離她住得很遠的朋友擔心不過沒辦法救她。有些離住得較近的朋友卻不幫她忙，並回覆說她在騙她們，她很好笑，如果她想自殺她就應該自殺。隔一天她母親跟社區醫院才發現她的情況，不過，已經來不及了 。
上個星期六，一月八日，在亞利桑那州圖森市公共政治機會一個二十二嵗的男生突然向陌生人開槍。造成六個人死亡 ，包括一個九嵗的女孩子，以及十四個人受傷 ，包括一個美國眾議院代表。
Mass Communication and Interpersonal Relations
Author: James Smyth
Editor: Ji Shou-hui
Since we discovered how to produce electricity, long distance communication has become easier with each passing generation, to the point where even though I live abroad, I can chat with my friends at home every day, and I can see my father and mother’s faces whenever I like. Many an iPhone user feels like the entire world is in the palm of his hand.
There’s no doubt that the development of mass communication has done many good things for us, but such a fundamental change in our lifestyles has brought its share of problems, as well. Quite a few sociologists and writers believe that the use of mass communication devices damages our social skills and social cohesion; to put it simply, the more time we spend looking at screens, the less time we spent talking to people face to face. If you don’t want to meet your neighbors or have close relationships with your family members, you don’t have to, because everything that you could want is on the Internet. Some people go days without speaking. Under this kind of social system, we don’t have a way of knowing who needs psychiatric care. Some of these troubled individuals commit suicide or snap and injure others.
Last Christmas, a 42-year old Englishwoman intentionally overdosed, then informed her 1000+ Facebook friends through her wall what she had just done and that she was committing suicide. Some people were worried about her but were too far away to help her. Others lived closer, but instead of helping, they replied that she wasn’t serious, that she was ridiculous, or that if she wanted to die, that was her own choice. A day later, her mother and the hospital finally heard about the situation, but by the time they reached her apartment, it was too late.
Last Saturday, January 8th, at a public political assembly in Tucson, Arizona, a 22-year old male suddenly opened fire on strangers. He killed six people, including a 9-year old girl, and injured 14 more, including a U.S. Congresswoman. Political commentators ceaselessly debated the shooter’s political views. In reality, you couldn’t understand his motivation just by understanding his opinions. I believe his political views had very little to do with the attack. According to psychiatrists with knowledge of the situation, he is schizophrenic.
He lived with his parents, and his classmates said he was a troubled person. He seemed quiet, but he made the Internet his bulletin board: he posted recordings, writing, and the like online; his work made it clear that he was unstable, unsatisfied with the government, and able to use weapons. But no one realized he was crazed enough to cause this tragedy.
We’ve changed very quickly from a local agricultural society to a global one, but in my opinion, we have to nurture local community spirit. Mutual concern between neighbors was the safety net of rural society.