They are common statements after any tragedy:
• I just don’t know what is going on anymore?
• I can’t believe things have gotten so bad.
• I’ve never seen division like this.
• Things are just getting worse and worse.
The statements are understandable. We live in unique times. Last week, a man’s death was live-streamed over Facebook. Never has their been a time when so much violence has been caught on camera and replayed for all to see. Never has there been so many first-hand accounts of terror, racism, evil or crime. It feels as though we live in horrible times. And in part, those feelings are right.
But they are also wrong. (See: Find the Lie, Name the Truth)
The world didn’t suddenly ‘go to hell.’ Things have not dramatically shifted in a negative direction. Many things have actually gotten much better and they just feel worse.
Everyone has a camera and a platform.
More things aren’t happening today; it only feels like more is happening because we see nearly every event within seconds (if not live) of it taking place.
Did basketball officials suddenly become horrible? Every season in both college and the NBA, people complain about how horrible officiating has become. Fouls aren’t called that should be. Fouls are called when no one was touched. Everyone complains that the officials are horrible. But what made them become so horrible? What has changed in the last 20 years? Not officiating. They are in better shape and have better training than ever. What has changed is more cameras and better TVs. Growing up, I watched basketball games on a 20-inch TV and the game was shot with three cameras. Now, I watch it on a 60-inch television in high definition and there are tens of cameras at every game. From my living room, I can hit replay and watch in slow-motion at every moment. Basketball officials aren’t worse—TVs are better.