It’s 3 a.m. in the morning. I toss and turn in bed, trying to combat insomnia. I give up, reach for my iPhone and, without thinking, launch my Facebook app (bad habit, I know.) Facebook and Instagram seem to be the two apps I’m always clicking on my mobile phone, most of the times unconsciously.
As always, I check through the new notifications before scrolling through my newsfeed. Amid the myriad of updates, a post titled “What the . . .”, accompanied by a video link and a caption that reads “nanny stomps on 2-year old baby”, catches my eye. I click on the video and spend the next 2 minutes and 40 seconds watching what seems to be CCTV footage of a woman taking it out on a toddler for spilling some food on the floor. The woman, probably a nanny, throws the child onto the floor, grabs a comb-like object and repeatedly hits the child on her back. She then kicks the crying child and uses her foot to stomp on the child’s back.
“What in the world is wrong with this lady?” I ask aloud, feeling rage and disgust surge through me.
Still reeling in shock from the atrocity I had just seen, I continue to scroll down my newsfeed. A few more posts later, I click on another video with the caption “Haha . . .” Within seconds, I realize in horror that the video is no laughing matter. A young female student is cornered in a classroom by three or four other girls, who take turns to abuse her physically. They start by throwing chairs at the victim before proceeding to yank her hair and slap her repeatedly. Beyond the content of the video, I am flummoxed by its title—how could people find humor in the sufferings of others? Thoroughly disturbed by the two videos, I find myself more awake than ever. Great.
The next day, I relate the contents of the videos to a friend of mine and my utter disbelief at the comments they elicited. “Why so surprised?” my friend calmly replies. “Haven’t you seen the videos where real people get beheaded?”
It struck me then what the real issue was. There was really nothing new in the displays of atrocities that I had seen the previous night. What was new was the ease and convenience with which anyone could view such videos. Technology advancements had made social media a convenient platform to incite and glorify violence or heinous acts, all at the click of a mouse. In many instances, social media had, sadly, become a platform to amplify and perpetuate the innate sinfulness of men.
To be inundated with such senseless and evil acts on a daily basis can make one lose hope in there being justice for the weak or oppressed. It seems almost commonplace and natural that people who cause harm or distress to others, can get away with their wrongdoings, scot-free.
It may be comforting to know, however, that this situation is not new. In Psalm 3, we get a glimpse of how senseless life can sometimes become. King David had lost the support of his people, who believed God had abandoned him. He was fleeing for his life from his own son, Absalom, who was out to destroy him. How disheartening it must have been! Yet, despite the hopelessness he faced, King David remained confident that God would protect, restore and deliver him from his enemies (Psalm 3:6-8).
In Proverbs 15:3, we are reminded that the eyes of the Lord roam the earth, and that He watches both the righteous and the wicked. For the righteous, God watches over them to reward godly deeds and show favor to the upright (Psalm 11:7). For the wicked, He watches on them to judge them, either here on earth or on the day of judgement (Psalm 11:6).
Knowing that the God I believe in will finally avenge the righteous and deal with evil, gives me hope that the craziness that is happening in the world today will finally end someday, and everything will be made right.