I got home from the park an hour ago to find my newsfeed bombarded with information on the siege that is underway in Sydney. The media is giving it rolling coverage on the TV. There is click bait all over Facebook. What is going on down there at the moment is highly disturbing. It is also symptomatic of the way that the organisation (being reported to be responsible) operate – low tech and high impact. It is also generating what they want – mass media coverage.
What is going on is beyond terrible. There is no way I could begin to comprehend what those involved are experiencing. I do however know tragedy – I have felt it and lived it. Most of us have. It comes in all shapes and forms. And that is the reality here, really awful and tragic things happen, out of the blue, all of the time, to good people. It is called life. Life is challenging and for some people, it holds tragedy that they would have never dreamed of happening to them.
Please believe me when I tell you this: the world is not a scary place. It is a wondrous place, full of beautiful people and amazing places. It is just unfortunate that with social media and the broader media sector, we have to look really hard for evidence of this these days. In these situations, the media is doing those involved a complete disservice and more than likely endangering them more.
Please be smart about how you approach this sort of thing with your kids. Don’t terrify them, turn the TV off, let them be kids. Discuss what is going on in a mature-appropriate way if they ask questions. Don’t scare them.