Factor one is the news media. Here they are only willing to report on sensationalized "news", stuff that can be quickly spoon fed to the viewing audience and then discarded. The news is becoming 140 words, stuttering for sake of reporting. Israelis and Palestinians are killing each other as Israel continues to be an army of occupation. Bahrain is detaining and executing its own citizens who are trying to effect change. Yet this real news is just passing thought in the US news media. In their estimation, most Americans do not care what happens elsewhere in the world and would in fact prefer to hear the latest "news" about D-List celebrities.
Factor two are social websites. Oh the horror of calling them out. As the world "shrinks" due to technological advances, people are becoming more isolated even though they are becoming more "social" online. What things like Facebook and the ilk offer are places for like-minded individuals to come together, and that is not a wrong thing. But, to borrow from Rorty's private language schema, groups who maintain a public facade are able to find other private-minded individuals who share their same beliefs. And that is where the true danger starts. While I am not calling for censorship, I am making clear that social media is a contributor to violence. Undeniably.
Factor three is what I call the electronic babysitter. Twenty years ago it was just the television (and cable tv). Here in our present though it is the Wii, xbox, Netflix, Ninjafruit, iPads, ... The job of parenting has been outsourced to bits and bytes. While a child learns that an M-16 is an effective weapon against zombies, they are not learning the importance of eating vegetables, or why REM sleep is necessary for proper brain function.
Factor four are the reality shows. But of course they do not involve any true form of reality. But what they do is implant the idea that no matter how screwed up a person is, or lazy, or conniving, there is a good chance someone will pay them money to film it. Reality tv is like passing an accident on the freeway. You do not want to look but feel compelled. But that is where the similarity ends. Reality tv feeds entitlement. And that leads us to my final factor.
Five - 'merica. We laugh at sites like "People of Walmart" and others such as that. We spend hours adding captions to cat pictures. We expect our government to give us stuff, no matter the political leaning. In 'merica stuff just comes to us because we deserve it and if we don't get it we are pissed off. We are seeing a decline in life expectancy, a decline in worldwide educational standing, and yet we argue whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to use the word "marriage" to describe their coupling.
Add any combination of the five factors together and it is not hard to see why children are grabbing guns and killing other children. Why men alone in cabins are gathering fertilizer and explosives together and driving them to federal buildings. Why there is a general malaise in this country in regards to virtually every topic that was once vitally important.
We, as Americans, are failing each other and ourselves. We have lost our integrity.