January 27, 2023 at 5:00:00 PM
Maria Akaras ‘24 and Talia Cutler ‘23
My first thought? “This is great! I am doing so badly on this test.” Granted, I didn’t know why we had to evacuate, but it really should have been slightly alarming to me. It wasn’t. I made my way to my dorm and went to a friend’s room. She informed me that we had to evacuate the academic buildings due to a bomb threat. My only response was, “Oh, those are never real.”
We began to talk about how often schools get fake bomb threats and about how horrible it would be if it were an active shooter threat. “School shooter threats are real, but bombings are always a stupid prank.” I was not at all shocked by this event. In fact, as soon as the buildings were cleared several hours later, the whole event had already begun to fade from my mind.
I was not alone in my sentiment; many of my peers handled the affair with an air of near indifference. Private stories were rife with jokes about the situation, from pictures of police cars and K9s to puns about the explosive nature of campus.
While this is not inherently a bad attitude to have, I feel it’s indicative of the larger issue of desensitization among younger generations. Through the news, and especially through social media, I see countless tragic events on a very regular basis. I realized that I could not remember the last time I was surprised by one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I have been both very angry and very sad because of the things going on in the world, but I have not been surprised.
This is a problem; I realized I am desensitized even to the most devastating events. This realization greatly upsets me. It is not okay that there is so much tragedy in the world, and it is not okay that I am used to it. What is worse is that it’s not just me. Our generation is experiencing this desensitization. When our school community faced the bomb threat last month, desensitization made our reaction nonchalant at best. We need to reflect and consider what’s causing this concerning reaction (or the lack of one) among our population. Acceptance leads to apathy, and apathy leads to inaction.