Top 10 Ways Terrorism Has Changed Our Daily Lives

Script written by Garrett Alden.

How has terrorism impacted the world? Between the stricter immigration laws and more aggressive screenings, people’s distrust of the government and arguably worsening racial profiling, the impact of terrorism on society and the economy of a country is serious. WatchMojo counts down ten effects of terrorism on human life.

Special thanks to our user Muppet_Face for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Ways%20Terrorism%20Has%20Changed%20Our%20Daily%20Lives

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Script written by Garrett Alden.

Top 10 Ways Terrorism Has Changed Our Daily Lives


Living in fear would give them exactly what they want. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the 10 ways terrorism has changed our daily lives.

For this list, we’re looking at the ways that terrorism has altered society on a day-to-day basis.

#10: Police Militarization

In recent years, many police forces around the world have gradually become more militant in their operations and in their use of high-powered equipment, with the looming threat of terrorism often serving as a blanket justification. Unlike most traditional military attacks, it’s difficult to tell when and where a terrorist attack will take place, leading many governments to arm their police forces more heavily, in case such an attack should occur. But these military-grade armaments have also been used to fight traditional criminals. In some places, the police force feels like a standing army; often making those they’ve sworn to protect feel intimidated and threatened rather than safe.

#9: We Hear More About Attacks at Home & Abroad

It might seem like we’re living in an age of unprecedented terrorism, but – while there’s no denying that the frequency and severity of terror attacks make it a scary time to be alive – we need to take our relationship with contemporary media into account as well. It’s not only security that’s become more sensitive, but the news industry too. Prior to the 21st century, terrorism was covered in the media, but not to the degree that it is today. Anything related to terrorism, whether domestic or overseas, is now considered newsworthy. These stories are not only covered by major national news outlets, but local stations as well, to some extent helping to promote a global culture of fear.

#8: The United States Department of Homeland Security Was Created

9/11 resulted in changes to many government agencies in the United States, as well as the creation of new ones; the chief of which was the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS is charged with responding to and preparing for national emergencies, including terrorism. Since its creation, the oft-criticized agency also oversees several preexisting domestic areas including immigration, customs, border patrol, the coast guard, and the secret service. While not everyone has to deal with those on a daily basis, you should also know that they oversee another unpopular agency created in response to 9/11: the Transportation Security Administration, better known as the TSA, which handles airport security.

#7: People Distrust Their Own Government

Thinking critically about institutions is healthy; a voting population needs to hold their elected representatives responsible for democracy to function. However, while suspicion of the government is nothing new, the lack of faith felt today often feels insurmountable. The threat of terrorism brought about sweeping changes by the US government, including new departments, new laws, and overseas conflict, all of which came at a great expense to the American people, both in a monetary sense and in terms of civil liberties. While it’s undeniable that some aspects of the government’s response to terrorism has made the world safer, it has also uncomfortably increased the government’s reach, power, and influence over our lives.

#6: Racial Profiling Has Arguably Worsened

Racism and xenophobia have been a blemish on human history since long before the word “terrorism” existed. However, our modern culture of fear has drastically increased the degree to which Muslims and people of Middle Eastern descent are profiled, for example. Terrorism and the accompanying line that’s been drawn between East and West unfortunately means that many Muslims are the victims of ignorance-based fear and suspicion on a daily basis, in both public and private settings. It’s also led to the dangerous misconception that only Muslims can be terrorists, which is far from the truth.

#5: Attending Large-Scale Events Now Feels Risky

Plenty of people have anxiety about crowds and large-scale events, but because of terrorism, it seems like their numbers have grown. Big events that once had little external threat to them, like marathons and rallies, now carry with them the possibility of attack by terrorists. More people means more potential casualties, which makes popular events an equally popular target for terrorists’ campaign of fear and intimidation. Life is full of risks though, and the fear of what might happen should never stop you from living yours to the fullest.

#4: We Live with Stricter Immigration Laws & More Aggressive Screening

Terror has led many nations to place greater restrictions on who can enter their countries, both in terms of immigration and temporary visits. Although illegal immigration and drug trafficking have also encouraged stronger immigration laws, terrorism has arguably been the greatest motivator. Increased scrutiny is placed on those entering countries, particularly those of Middle Eastern descent - it’s all part of that racial profiling we discussed earlier. Domestic terrorism in the Middle East has also led to a surge in refugees, like those escaping the Syrian Civil War. Countries around the world have responded with varying degrees of screening for those fleeing the devastation and seeking refuge, but it seems to be getting tougher across the board.

#3: Higher Level of Security

In the wake of high-profile terrorist attacks, security services have become much more aware of potential threats and are far less prone to leaving things to chance if something seems amiss. Buildings will be evacuated because of an unattended bag, or flights diverted for a minor malfunction. On the one hand, jumping to the worst conclusion immediately results in a lot of wasted time and money for everyone involved. But on the other hand, it’s nice to see that security services are taking their duty to protect people so seriously. Their ability to fight and protect against terrorism was also improved thanks to more funding, new techniques, better communication, and upgrades in information gathering. Speaking of which…

#2: Electronic Surveillance Has Intensified

With the primary aim of preventing and defeating terrorism, laws like the Patriot Act have expanded the US government’s ability to monitor its citizens electronically, both via telephone and online. Conspiracy theorists have long railed against the government’s monitoring of our every move, and while it’s not quite that bad (yet), they are still able to learn an uncomfortable amount about the people they’re protecting and serving. Of course, for better or worse, we only know as much as we do about what they’re looking at and how thanks to Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks.

#1: Getting On an Airplane Is Arduous

Before 9/11, air travel was actually kind of…fun! You didn’t have to worry about what items you had, as long as they weren’t weapons, and there were far fewer steps. Now, plane travel is no longer an exciting adventure; it’s an ordeal that has to be endured to reach a destination. And that’s not even going into the nightmare that is customs and immigration! However, the worst part is that the TSA, an organization that supposedly protects us with these invasive, time-consuming procedures, has proven ineffective. In 2015, they failed 95% of tests. As a result, many of these measures have been labeled “Security Theatre,” practices designed to make us feel safe without actually providing more effective security.
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