A single glance at my social-media feeds makes me anxious, for many reasons. One is the feeling of impiety it brings. I read about a mass shooting, and not five seconds later I read about the kind of dress a celebrity wore at her surprise wedding. A moment later there’s an article about a European heat wave that is sure to be deadly, BA.5 run amok, and another one on the best bronzers and highlighters for brown skin, before a turn to an exegesis on the Supreme Court and an argument between.
On a timeline, there is no respect for what is serious. Every time something of political or moral concern shows up, something trivial competes with it immediately, flattening the importance of the serious matter into just another post in the flurry of activity. I worry that this has socialized us to treat tragedies as spectator events, or even entertainment. We are rubbernecking disaster every day.