Disaster porn and pictures of cats

A number of times over the past few days updates about What'sApp selling for $15bn in my Facebook newsfeed have sat next to distressing updates about what is happening in Kiev.

This mixture of challenging events in the world and Facebook ephemera, or first world excess, happens all the time. I follow Keith Somerville and Anne Mugishu who regularly post updates about grim events in Africa and these can often find themselves next to new age aspirational images or pictures of cats.

I sometimes worry that this is no different from the TV news mix of disaster porn and "and finally" stories. I don't very often share negative stories. It feels too easy. Feels too much like saying "look at me, I can care about suffering in the world and you should too". It feels voyeuristic, triggering a guilty pressing of the "like" button (we SO need a "not like" button) on stories that we feel we should do something about but never do more than that click of the mouse.

Is this a bad thing? Is it better to know about suffering even if we do nothing about it? Is it just life that challenge sits next to froth? Should we learn to take responsibility for our experience of the world through these new platforms as much as we should with mainstream media?

What do you reckon?