I think we have all had some time to process the horrific death of Paul Walker and his friend, Roger Rodas, that happened a few weeks ago. Although this story is tragic, it has definitely struck another chord as of late.
I recently read an article where the author stated something along the lines of “people die everyday but they aren’t recognized in the same magnitude that celebrities are.” This statement is hard to argue but with the growth of social media being the way to share information, emotion, and empathy, it’s hard to say that those thoughts would change anything.
What struck me deeply about this incident and I am only shedding light on this recent tragedy because it is relevant as I write this, was the way people were utilizing media in other ways to expose the accident. About a day or so after the car crash, TMZ posted amateur video (that was sent in by a bystander who most likely profited from it) of Walker’s car crushed and smoldering in flames while the “videographer” and the car driver sat by and watched. You could hear them contemplate whether to drive away or watch but never did the question arise whether they should stop filming and help. No, I don’t think they knew it was Paul Walker in the car but why wasn’t their first reaction to call for help? I sort of pondered this question for a while which is why I held off from writing this blog entry but the conclusion I came to was rather sad.
This is our culture. This is how our society interacts and engages with each other. When something amazing, difficult, or out of the ordinary happens in our lives, the first thing we do is post it. Why? Because we need to feel that small sense of thrill from receiving “likes,” “comments,” and “retweets” from those who follow us. If you are like me, most of your Facebook friends are in their early to mid-twenties that currently suffer from the social media TMI and at times, go out of their way to get a few laughs. Personally, I have seen posts of people passed out drunk on the T, videos of people fighting, and all sorts of instances where people are being photographed or caught on video without their knowledge. Are some of us that self-absorbed that we can’t see that those people may be in danger rather than a funny Instagram shot?
The death of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas is incredibly sad and will stick in people’s mind until the next tragedy is captured and posted online.