Instagramming A Suicide Bomber

#Instabomb.

I’ve been wondering if our media salivates like Pavlov’s dog when they get wind of yet another explosion takes place in this country. Their coverage sure always sounds like a kid who was given a new shiny toy on Christmas morning: relentless, excited, carefree, all over the place and – more importantly – chaotic.

I, for one, live in lala land. As a consequence, I’m becoming more or less ignorant as to what’s taking place around me politically. I’d like to think of it as a blessing in disguise. It feels good not to know sometimes. What’s constant throughout my enforced ignorance, however, is people always telling me about the horrors they’ve been seeing on television as if the explosions we all have to withstand were not enough: we are also being forced to get desensitized to the charred remains of human beings.

Social media has done wonders to Lebanese media. It has given them more ways to communicate, made them more approachable and has gotten them to become slowly but surely in competition with lesser known forms of media that could be faster at getting news out there. But when is taking social media while reporting news way too far?

Say you want to Instagram a suicide bomber’s remains, what filter would you use?

Yes, that question may be completely absurd but a Lebanese TV station basically did just that a couple of days ago when they posted on their Instagram account the remains of the suicide bomber who detonated himself in Choueifat. I’m not an Instagram expert but is that filter “valencia?”

You can check out a screenshot of the image here.

I thought I’ve seen all that the media in this country could do. I was wrong. Explosions are horrible but diffusing such material is barbaric in its own right as well. What’s even sadder is that as a culture and country, we are becoming increasingly habituated to seeing such things that a well known TV station figured it was a good idea to snap an Instagram picture and broadcast it for people to “like” and comment in.

What is there to “like” about some terrorist’s unknown body part? What is there to comment on? What form of discussion are we trying to have by constantly exposing whoever has eyes to see to such things?

Like Pavlov’s dog, let them salivate over the next body part they want to Instagram. It’s only a matter of time now till the next “it” thing becomes a selfie with a suicide bomber’s body part. I think the “Hudson” filter would work excellently with that.

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2 thoughts on “Instagramming A Suicide Bomber

  1. This gore-obsession probably just follows the old adage “if it bleeds, it leads.” How many times when covering a breaking story do we hear a reporter making inane comments while the photographer zooms in on the drying puddles of blood on the pavement or the car’s blood-stained cushions. Such reporting doesn’t help us understand the incident. Yes, we need to know that real people suffer the results of others’ violent tantrums–we don’t necessarily benefit from a political, sterile, statistical commentary. But to focus on the sensational gore and innuendo lets us respond “Eew!” in disgust and turn away….and to excuse ourselves from dealing with the underlying issues. Maybe we could do with some balance?

    Reply

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