When #prayforjapan is not enough.

Japan struggles in the aftermath of the tsunami-quake tragedy. A staggering death toll, threats of nuclear danger and a fear of spreading radiation spells panic throughout Asia. Largely overshadowed is New Zealand’s call for help, in the aftermath of the devastating quake. 

Meanwhile, political unrest remains unresolved for The Middle East as their people continue to submerge in the pressure of raging chaos. Further demonstrations surface in Yemen and Gaza. Egypt faces sectarian conflicts only weeks after what seemed like victory.

In the face of perpetual adversity and global disasters, some news take precedence over others. Readers tend to ignore the sidebars, maintaining a tunnel vision of headline news. The danger? The false world view potentially undermines unpublicised trouble, surrounding the rest of the world.

The problem here is no longer ignorance, but apathy. Prayers are aplenty, but assistance is often minimal. This is the new apathetic cycle: to pretend that apathy is erased simply by posting a message, as though it is obligatory.

Over recent years, many have expressed their concerns over social media through hashtag activism. They share top articles and echo popular viewpoints to show they care. Sharing widely-accepted features in quick and callous fashion, one often hopes to garner acceptance and agreement from others.

But there is doubt surround the sincerity of the prevalent status updates. Is the true motivation self-exposure? The ease of achieving it with modern technology – the likes, the shares, the comments – encourages one’s innate crave for attention.

The messages are strangely reserved only for the ones that make it onto the front page. Our media-driven society skews our beliefs towards the mainstream, as people lean towards prominent happenings.

Duplicating socially acceptable opinions, or even opposing views may spark a conversation. But is it meaningful? It is important that one should think and figure for themselves. You can speak of concern, but always stop to ask yourself: Did I mean it?

Mere talk just isn’t good enough anymore. If only more go beyond words. If it is within your means, spare monetary aid. But if you are unable to donate, everyone has the time to spread the word and ask those who can.

It is easy to be fed by headlines, but take the time to go further than by-lines on the front page. Realise that disaster strikes every day, every minute, and every second. So spare a thought for the world, not just Japan.


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