Another school shooting…social narcissism adding fuel to digital media fire.

Look above…that is the number of school shootings since Sandy Hook Elementary School incident. That is 74 school shootings since December 14, 2012.

The biggest debate right now:

  1. 2nd Amendment
  2. Access to guns

I have one for you…how about the access to media, social media, and the velocity of the social share. We are content consumers…actually we are hungrier than a pack of wolves in the middle of winter. We crave content, we crave to share, we crave to be the one to post it to our news feeds…first.

We have evolved into narcissists and we have been adding fuel to this fire as the complexity and access to digital tools has pervaded our every minute of our every day.

We wake up and and check our phones and check our news feeds. We crave it and we are not afraid to glamorize those individuals who spray bullets through the halls of our schools. Our news agencies are even more a vital part of this equation. A what point does it make sense to stop reporting, stop posting, stop sharing the news of another shooting? This is a pubic information question.

As a young news journalist for a television station in Phoenix, our news management made a conscious decision not to follow police chases live with a helicopter, we did not want to glamorize and publicize such a hyper-volital situation.

It is my humble opinion…we need to stop clicking, stop sharing, and stop reporting these shootings unless it is absolutely necessary for public safety.

There is no reason I need to read about another school shooting in real time halfway across the United States. When it is posted, reported, and shared over and over and over again…it provides the realization that we are willing to place this situation upon digital alter for those to consume regardless of the recourse.

This is the very reason I do not like to click, share, or even slow down while scrolling when I see these stories. Why…I do not want to add to the digital fire that is erupting.

I am a gun owner, I have a concealed weapons license, I am a parent, and I am a concerned citizen. Information is king but the social share can be a dangerous weapon…just as dangerous as the loaded gun and the person pulling the trigger.

Next time…take a few minutes and look at your Facebook news feed and review what you have clicked, Liked, Shared, and even where you have commented. Take a look at your Twitter feed and see what you have shared, RT’d, clicked, etc.

Are you becoming a citizen journalist trying to compete with the local, regional, and national news outlets?

Our news feeds, our Twitter feeds, our social feeds are powerful influences. How can we use these tools to move away from reporting the horrific stories and create content that will out pace these breaking news stories and updates with content that will create positive change.

We live in one of the greatest eras where creating content and sharing organically can create influence that provides a language of change. It is time to quit clicking those news stories that reinforce the events of June 10, 2014…another school shooting in Oregon.

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