With one eye on CNN, watching the devastation in Japan, and the other on my Twitter timeline, I can’t help but wonder if maybe the Mayans are on to something. Lots of tweeting going asking “what is the world coming to?” or “first Australia and New Zealand, now Japan…what next?!”.
True, there is no denying that the earth has, in recent times, dished out some severe punishment to its inhabitants. There is no overlooking the destruction and tragedy that comes with these natural disasters, be it the raging fires in Oz or the earthquakes in NZ and now Japan. Not to mention the unrest in Egypt, Lybia and other parts of the globe.
But watching all of these events in real-time (on my TV, laptop and even my cellphone), I have to wonder….is the sky really falling? Or is Chicken Little just a little too well connected?
We live in a time where the world is connected in ways that experts could not have imagined or predicted 20 years ago: satellite TV with 24 hour news channels, picking up on every moment of every event in every country; the internet; Twitter etc etc. Even a decade ago, we watched 9/11 unfold, minute by minute, on our TV screens. After that, the Boxing Day Tsunami that claimed so many lives. But before that?
Before that there was genocide in Rwanda, the Cold war, the rise of dictators, such as Hitler and Mussolini, WWII (including atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not to mention the Holocaust), the Great Depression, WWI (the “war to end all wars”) etc. And inbetween there were still floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and the like. As tragic as the Indian Ocean tsunami was (estimated death toll of 230,000), the 1931 China floods were much more devastating, with an estimated death toll of 2,500,000–3,700,00. But there was no CNN coverage back then. Christiane Amanpour did not, in fact, have tea with Mussollini.
So with the 2012 prophecy steadily approaching, is the world really heading towards it’s expiration date? Or does the steady stream of tragedy (both natural and man-made) just seem worse of late, since we don’t miss a minute of it?
Personally, I’m still hoping for a zombie apocalypse. Because I think I’m badass enough to be a survivor. But whichever way the world ends, we’ll know about it. It’ll all be on Twitter.