Are distractions creating

inequality in the world?

Impeachments, Brexit, North Korea, economic inequality, and mass unemployment are themes that seem to dominate the headlines. Today, it is difficult to read the news without feeling a sense of apprehension and fear for the state of the world. With so much going on, many things in your country and local community are often being ignored or going unnoticed. Are the crazy times we live in distracting people from discovering what is happening around them?
QUICK LINKS
  Dominating headlines

Reading social media posts and the occasional opinion piece, there are many posts where people are going online to share their frustrations. Posts that elaborate why many people of all ages no longer read and follow traditional news and media. The reasons for the decision are varied; however, one consistent theme is that people find the information is depressing. That much of what is featured only highlights the negative things happening globally. Often, many will close their point with how it has become liberating for them, enabling them to sleep better at night and have a more positive outlook on life.

It is understandable why some feel like this, especially since the news is often packed full of similar stories dominating the headlines. However, switching off from the world might not be the best solution. In doing so, we all run the risk that we are unaware of important things that directly affect us and only act when it is too late. The truth is that though some media outlets can be biased, swinging more to the left or the right, they do serve a purpose. Many expose injustices, hold influential people to account, and educate us on what is happening around us. Most importantly, many highlight the warm and uplifting stories showing extraordinary human behaviour and kindness, which seem to be fewer and less frequent now.

  Ignorance can be bliss
Ignorance can be bliss; take Brexit. Before and after the referendum, many living in the United Kingdom or the UK were bombarded with negative news. Over three years of constant news items that foretell the UK’s downfall or, on the other side, how much money the country is wasting through membership in the EU. Reports that are designed to sway the public one way or the other. Now factor in world news, impeachments, Donald Trump, trade wars, climate change and companies going bust. All of the headlines follow a constant and similar theme. It is often difficult to follow and keep on top of what is happening with so much going on. We are also in the midst of a social and cultural change, with many millennials getting their news updates from social media. Some of the stories are presented as fact, even though they are often fake news. Many are news bait or short sentences which attempt to summarise and explain complicated subjects.

Most featured stories are important and likely affect our daily lives. However, many are not getting the proper attention or, worse, not being featured. Governments and companies alike are pushing through their agendas and changes under the radar, with very few aware of what is happening until it is too late. If I said hundreds of people had been murdered yesterday, because of their sexuality, in the early 2000s, there would have been outrage and worldwide condemnation to the perpetrators. It is likely now just a news story that disappears after a few days.

Some issues are typically raised and highlighted only when a celebrity tweets; however, many other stories go unnoticed. The most significant cause is that we are now conditioned to accept bad news quickly. Many important things are being trivialised with people in authority not being held to account. We all need to wake up before we sleepwalk into disaster.

It is not just an LGBTQIA+ related issue, but there are many broader examples, such as:
  • US states are reviewing legalising abortions
  • Uganda has introduced an anti-homosexual bill
  • Russia introduced the sovereign internet law
  • Indonesia introduced laws relating to sex outside of marriage
  • Brunei planned (now suspended) to introduce the punishment of stoning to death for convicted homosexuals

These are just a few examples of the hundreds of things going on around us right now, do not believe me? Search through various media outlets for news stories relating to your country and the local area; you will be surprised.
  Dystopian Future

To ensure we do not fall into a dystopian future, where the laws and rights many fought hard to implement are not reversed. We all must seek out the news to ensure we go forward rather than backwards. For example, it is easy to create a google alert (https://www.google.co.uk/alerts) in which you enter keywords meaningful to you. If a story appears associated with those words, you will be alerted. When you find stories that are being buried, tag them, share them with your friends and family, post them on social media. If you feel passionate about a particular subject, message your political representatives, but ultimately get involved and be heard.

When we all are awake to what is happening around us, we can hold people accountable. When we all mobilise on crucial issues, we can ensure that we do not wake up one day surprised that the world around us has changed for the worse.

LGBTQIA+ Worldwide Equality Index

Learn each year how individual countries and regions around the world are treating members of the LGBTQIA+ community. From the status and laws of same-sex marriages to gender identity recognition, this easy-to-use equality index provides a score and breakdown for every country worldwide
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