2 years ago
drwhat
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Watching vs. Helping: Where did we go wrong?
I saw two pieces of news on reddit today that were both really different, and they both made me feel awful when looked at them together.
The good story: There was an attempted rape on a 14yo girl; three people heard her screaming and went to help her and were able to rescue her. The guy (who was 22) denies anything happening, though he was literally pulled off of her in nothing but his boxers.
The bad story: A man is being charged (with trespassing, which you'll see is weird) after he saw a car accident happen and opened the doors of the car to film the two injured people inside. One of these injured teens ended up passing away in the hospital later. The man filming did nothing to help them, and tried to sell the video (in which he called them "idiots" because they had been driving on the train tracks when they crashed) to news stations.

So, what's my problem with these?

The first, "good" story does make me feel some relief that she was rescued, but the fact that we have to be so surprised that her rescuers how heard her screaming actually took action. Shouldn't we live in a world where we want to help each other? It seems that is becoming the exception, not the norm, lately, and that makes me sad.
On the other side, the fact that a man would actually film these injured teens instead of stepping in to help them is disgusting. Of course, that's not what he is actually being charged for (though I thought he should be charged with some sort of negligent manslaughter, personally). It just makes me sick that someone would do this. Nightcrawler doesn't need to be real.

I don't want to live in a world where filming accidents and peoples' problems (either to make a quick buck or just for the hell of it) becomes the norm.

We used to care more about each other. Now we care about the proof we can record of what we've seen. Gross.
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3 comments
This is extremely sad. :( It looks like there is a clear “That’s not ok!” feeling that come with that story, and I think that it deserves some attention. That being said, I think journalist do through the same issue...documenting a crime, or helping those in front of them. In that case I’m more for the photograph...imagine how many crime we wouldn’t have seen of become aware of because of it!
@nicolejb I think there is a line that journalists have to learn as well (document, or jump in) but I feel they often come upon these cases when there are already people there helping. This man insulted them, didn't try to help even though nobody was helping them, and then tried to sell the video, all while still laughing at one of their deaths. It's a bit ridiculous....so frustrating because people are almost afraid to help others nowadays.
@nicolejb I also saw a story about how a man that helped calm down an upset man who was waving a knife around in a target is now being sued by target...granted, that person was also suing target for "not keeping him safe" so it was kind of messy, but I keep seeing more and more people unwilling to step in and help people because they're afraid of being liable or they'd rather take a picture to make some extra cash. Its sad.