We all know that the media has a habit of covering things excessively for a certain amount of time, but what happens when a story stops being covered? Has it gone away? Has the issue been dealt with? Is it still ongoing but been covered enough, so we don’t need to talk about it any more?
2016 has been full of events, both positive and negative. Why aren’t we still talking about them? Sure, we shouldn’t dwell on things too long because there are always new things that need to be covered and discussed, but that doesn’t mean that previous events and stories didn’t happen. What about the lives lost at the Pulse shooting? What about Donald Trump’s sexual assault trial? What about Hillary’s emails that everyone was so concerned about? What about the Dakota Access pipeline? What about the wildfires in the South? What about the Flint water crisis? What happened to the Black Lives Matter movement? What happened with all of these things? The families of the Pulse shooting victims are still grieving. Homophobia and LGBT+ rights are still important. Donald Trump’s actions and statements still happened and haven’t been addressed or dealt with. Hillary is still relevant even if she didn’t get elected. Even if work on the Dakota Access pipeline has been stopped, it still has to go somewhere. Fires are still burning in the South, and people still lost their homes, family and friends to them. Flint still doesn’t have clean water. Black lives still matter. Why aren’t we talking about these issues?
America’s attention span is very short. Not only do we only focus on issues for a short amount of time, we seem to forget about them once the media has stopped talking about them. Just because we aren’t talking about an issue, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just because we aren’t talking about it, it doesn’t mean the issue has been resolved. It simply means that we cared for the “required” amount of time, and now we can forget and move on to something else for a specified amount of time. But why? Sure, we can’t talk about everything at once, but that doesn’t mean we should shove certain things aside and forget about them. Just because we aren’t actively discussing it on a daily basis, it doesn’t mean that an issue isn’t valid. If the media isn’t covering something, do your own research. Take action on your own. Don’t wait for the rest of the world to catch on or come back to an issue. America’s attention span may be short, but it doesn’t mean that all Americans have to live their lives in short bursts of empathy.