By Samantha Milowitz || Layout Assistant
On June 23, 2018. 12 boys and their soccer coach went missing in Thailand. What was, supposed to be, an “initiation process for young men,” took the team to Tham Luang cave where they became trapped as the cave flooded, blocking their exit. The rescue seemed impossible, especially since the boys were so frail and would need immense energy and skill in order to attempt to swim through the narrow passageways in the cave. A professional Navy Seal diver, Saman Gunan, lost his life placing oxygen tanks along the tunnels for the boys, causing doubt that if a professional couldn’t make it, neither would the boys. Finally, on July 8, the rescue divers managed to get four of the boys out, later saving the rest of the boys and their coach in the next two days. What seemed like an impossible situation turned into a heroic story of this team’s survival.
I first heard about this story at camp this summer; not through the newspapers or on television, but from my Rabbi who described what was happening across the world to a large group of teenagers, all of us hearing it for the first time. While this was such a huge event going on in our world at that moment, all of us had missed it and we couldn’t figure out why. As we examined an article that our Rabbi passed around, we read of the impossible nature of this recuse mission and the probability that these boys were not going to make it out alive, and there was nothing we could do about it.
It was the first time I felt stupid: Stupid for not knowing what was happening in the world I was living in, stupid for searching for wifi to check my instagram feed but not bother checking the news. As we all sat around, learning of the horrific events taking place in Thailand with these boys, I could see that we all felt a strange sense of guilt for not knowing sooner. We were all counselors too — College educated counselors who were looking out for the well being of children.
In today’s society, everyone is best friends with their phone, which should mean that finding out news or events should be even easier. Instead, I find myself, others my age, and even adults, no longer concerned with the “real” news and more concerned with the news available on their phone. I mean, really, all the information I find out is from my friends’ posts, instagram feeds, or from flipping through television channels every now and then. Many people now are purposefully ignoring newspapers and networks because so much of it focuses on President Donald Trump’s remarks.
Christopher Herbert, a journalist for the Guardian Weekly writes of a one-year cleanse he and his wife took from the news outlets because of President Trump. Herbert says, “For both of us, the decision to tune out was instinctive. It was about sanity and self-preservation.” The decision everyone needs to make now is would they rather be informed or preserve their sanity.
For me, I don’t think that remarks and back talk President Trump makes is reason enough to dive into a black hole and never look at the news again. For me, he has already taken away a lot and he shouldn’t interfere with me being informed. That moment at camp for me opened my eyes to how our society is slipping away and how our news is becoming more about the top 10 ways to impress your man than what is happening in the world.
Sophomore Samantha Milowitz is a Layout Assistant. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.