SOCIAL MEDIA AND VIOLENCE

4/22/16

Every group’s presentations so far has been pretty interesting. One that I found most intriguing would probably be the group that discussed Social Media and Violence. During their presentation they had distinguished those who act out online vs those that are committed rebels. They opened up their speech with a story about a young man in high school who threatened he’d kill all the students and teachers. He even went as far as sending an image of a gun to the school. He was then arrested but was not sentenced to jail because he claimed he wasn’t going to actively kill anyone. The group then begged the question: was all of this for attention? Would social media cause an increase in attacks?

My answer is yes for both. I think social media can definitely fuel violence which can inevitable go beyond digital space. Facebook, Youtube and twitter are an excellent source of tools when it comes to socializing and branding, but it can also be a major platform for violence. There are actually sites out there used by gang members to promote violence. They use it to make threats, recruit members and make call outs to rivals. This activity then leads to real shootings and deaths. This was actually on the ABC news a while back. They interviewed a resident from Chicago who revealed how gang members used social media for power and brutality. Here is a link to anyone interested http://abcnews.go.com/US/chicagos-gang-violence-fueled-social-media/story?id=17464743
There is also a trend in social media called “Fight Complications.” These are videos that compile clips of fights taken on one’s cell phone. These videos often get hundreds and thousands of views and millions of hits. It’s become such a trend that just a simple google search can allow you to find the “best fight compilations” of the week. Examples:

This kind of exposure can have a huge effect on kids. Children learn social skills from their surrounding.s Being in constant exposure to violence may lead them to think this behavior is acceptable. Unfortunately I doubt these type of trends will ever go away. There will always be violence somewhere in digital space. The best anyone can do to prevent this mentality to occur would be to maybe create more interventions that can teach the youth or just anyone in general how to cope with stress without violence.

Advertisements