the bystander effect
i was peacefully surfing the internet while chatting with my friends when i heard a loud blast outside. i didn’t go out immediately because i thought it was just a tricycle whose sidewheel was detached. no big deal. but when i heard a commotion, accompanied by the barking of our dogs, i hurriedly went out and saw a swarm of people around two tumbled motorcycles and a man with a bloody face.
the man was motionless at first. i thought he was already dead. the people stood motionless too. i know very well that they’re not dead. just stupid. they were standing there for a full five minutes, i guess, doing nothing. they were just looking at the bleeding man. what were they waiting for? for the man to stand up miraculously and help himself to get to the hospital? or for all the remaining blood in his body to drain and make a little pool on the ground?
i went out the gate to get near. they seem to feel my presence and their attention was somehow diverted away from the man lying on the ground. finally, someone called the barangay officials for the patrol. there’s still hope for that pitiful man, i said to myself. but to add to his agony, the barangay officials also stood a full two minutes to stare at the barely-living body sprawled on the cold ground.
that’s when i lost my patience.
“Takte, buhatin n’yo na yan!!!” i shouted. [bullshit, take him!!]
and a lot of voices echoed mine. they finally carried the man to the patrol and raced to the hospital. i went inside, pissed of at all the people who lost their senses.
the bystander effect:
The bystander effect is a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help in an emergency situation when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely proportional to the number of bystanders. In other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help.