Sunday 26 February 2017

We're too busy being paranoid to help a child in distress

Sinead Moriarty

Sinead Moriarty

We are now wary of strangers, no matter how small
We are now wary of strangers, no matter how small
More than 600 people ignored a lost child in a TV experiment
An experiment in Norway did find that people gave their jackets to a freezing child at a bus stop

What would you do if you saw a little girl alone in a shopping centre? Would you approach her? Would you walk by her? Would you even notice she was there? The UK's Channel 5 has filmed a programme called 'Little Girl Lost', to show how we have become a 'walk-on-by' society.

During the social experiment, a five-year-old girl was placed in a crowded shopping centre clutching her doll, looking lost and asking for help. Over 600 people walked by until eventually a grandmother stopped to help her.

It seems cold and callous that she was ignored by so many. In a way, the most shocking thing about the programme was that most people didn't even seem to notice the child. They were far too busy talking into phones, checking e-mails or rushing around. The girl's mother, who was watching from a distance, was shocked to see her daughter ignored.

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