20 years ago there was no such thing as You Tube. Very few people carried any type of device capable of recording video clips. Few stores had cameras, some – but not many. Because of technological innovations today we have the ability as a public to witness many, often graphic incidents which would have been otherwise read about in some local newspaper years ago. Video, film, any photographic accounts are far more powerful than other mediums. Just look at the Holocaust. How much more powerful and awful is the Holocaust in our minds due to the graphic content we have watched? What would our perceptions about the Holocaust be had there been no recordings of Hitler, POW’s and the death camps?
With that said – How bad is violence today? Are we as a public more drawn into a panic due to what headlines we see splashed across the internet and what links we are drawn to? Links filled with video clips, images and daily violent storylines.
I say this as a person who often has to talk himself of the ledge and try to take a wider perspective on things. I grew up in a pretty upscale neighborhood in Toledo. In the 1980’s our house was robbed three times. (Neighborhood kids that used drugs we would find out later). Crime and break ins are not new to Toledo nor is murder.
I am not the largest proponent of statistics but even a quick perusal of violent crime statistics might dispel just a little bit of that near panic feeling I get browsing the internet on a daily basis.
• Pay special attention to the homicide rate in the Crime over Time section.
Don’t get me wrong… I am not advocating walking through sections of Toledo whistling Broadway ditties with a $50 bill hanging out of my pocket but I am voicing uncertainty I have about the nature of things and the world we live in.
Maybe, just maybe… things aren’t quite as bad as we are led to believe by news outlets and affiliations with a purpose in promoting bad news? If I were not looking at any historical reference and just watching the news and reading things on the internet I would sense that the violence and murder rates are three or four times higher today than any other periods and that does not appear to be the case.