National Times – The quest for an end to the Anglophone crisis is growing stronger every day. The problem is that before, the psychological impact of seeing dead bodies scattered across our streets was too high. That is no longer the case. We may end up with nightmares. Desire for revenge. Or go into depression, but we no longer process does images of dead people as we used to do before.
The days when people used to turn on their TV sets to watch their favourite news anchors review the “evening news” now seem like a very quaint period in Cameroonian life. The same goes with people reading newspapers over a breakfast table or listening to “news radio” in their farms. Let’s face it – social media is the new gatekeeper.
As study after study shows, people are getting their news from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Instead of “tuning in” to TV, they are just scanning their social newsfeeds for information. As a result, social media has a very powerful impact on what type of news we consume.
Meanwhile, while we are more likely to see a picture of a dead person on social media, than on our traditional news, we are also more likely to run into some comedy or fun stuff than would have been the case on CRTV some few years ago.
What this mean is that our brain no longer memorize stuff as it use to do before. This means the effects of horror images on our brains are far lesser than it would have been the case before. As a result we are able to move from different emotional states, which reduces the chance of us suffering from depression or some bad emotions for longer.
Remember when news seemed, well, “serious”? It was something that you discussed over the dinner table in very serious tones, using very grown-up vocabulary. There was a real respect for the news media and the function they fulfilled in society. But what about today? Most people simply view “the news” as a rich source of hilarious new Internet memes.
The other problem is that getting news from social media also involves a huge chunk of multi-tasking, which reduces our retentive capacity, but also the ability to retain horrible images.
“Multi-tasking adversely affects how you learn,” Poldrack says. “Even if you learn while multi-tasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialised, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily.”
Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brain, agrees:
“What psychologists and brain scientists tell us about interruptions is that they have a fairly profound effect on the way we think. It becomes much harder to sustain attention, to think about one thing for a long period of time, and to think deeply when new stimuli are pouring at you all day long. I argue that the price we pay for being constantly inundated with information is a loss of our ability to be contemplative and to engage in the kind of deep thinking that requires you to concentrate on one thing.”
However, there are down sides we turn to be more optimistic about things than the reality would permit. This can mean thinking that we can win or end an conflict quicker than is practically achievable.
The question then is what is the future of Anglophone crisis? Well that is a good question. If you managed to stay focus up to this point, you can well figure what the answer is.