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[Disclaimer: I could not find original version of the episode expect on Netflix, so it is located there.]
In the episode of The Twilight Zone: The Monsters are Due on Maple Street and Fahrenheit 451 both show how prejudice and following one way of thinking leads to self-destruction of a society. In the episode it shows a neighborhood that has experienced some strange phenomenon with light going on and off and one boy suggest that its aliens coming to take over the world and that one of them is an alien themselves. In wanting to protect their home prejudice spreads throughout the neighborhood using each other as scapegoats to find the answer to the question of who is the alien. Like TMDMS, Fahrenheit 451 shares similar qualities like prejudice against something that threatens their way of life, which in this case is their “happiness”. As people in the book follow the one way of thinking that all that matters is in life is happiness people start using a scapegoat to search for the imperfections in their life, which are books. The prejudice on books that might target minorities is ultimately the downfall of the society, like the in TMDMS with the neighbors following one way of think that one of them is an alien and blaming each other leading to the neighborhoods downfall. As the image of the neighborhood in hysterica pans out the aliens are shown and mentions that only a few lights turned on and off can lead to people creating utter chaos. Both the show and Fahrenheit 451 give examples of how prejudice and only one way of thinking can lead to devastating destruction.
In the article “Violence in Movies: More, Bigger—Worse” and Fahrenheit 451 it shows the change with having more violence. In the article it talks about how violence in “PG-13 movies has tripled” since 1985 when the PG-13 rating was first introduced. It also mentions that because of the “Continuous exposure to extreme violence, like the kind exaggeratedly fictionalized in the movies, can begin to desensitize kids to such violence.” This is shown happening in Fahrenheit 451 when Mildred tells Montag “You hit rabbits, sometimes dogs. Go take the beetle.”(61) as well as on page 122 when Montag was almost hit with a car “For no reason at all in the world they would have killed me.” Both quotes showing the increase of violence and the desensitized nature of the characters. With the increase of violence becoming so normal, we as people are not mortified by the violence but entertained like in movies. The lack of empathy shown in the book and article is given as a warning of how people portray cruel situations.
This article gives examples and statistics about how social media has affected our behavioral attention span noting that the average human attention span was 12 seconds but in recent years with social media it has dropped down to 8 seconds which, comparatively, is shorter than the “average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish [of] 9 seconds.” In the book Fahrenheit 451, being published in 1953, it foreshadowed the used of technology shortening our attention span with Captain Beatty saying on page 52 “speed up your camera. Books became shorter.” Relating to today showing as technology gradually speeds up so does our want for everything else to be quicker. Which leads us to the problem today where social media encourages the short attention but neglects longer and more thoughtful information because no one has the patience to pay attention.