UNITED STATES—Oh, the powers that be would make one think social media is SUCH a major tool in public sphere. However, I’m hearing way too many horror stories nowadays about how dangerous social media is becoming. It’s like a classic motive in the horror film “Scream 4;” everyone wants to be famous and are willing to go to extreme lengths to ensure that fame comes their way.
How so? Post a video on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Vimeo, the list goes on and on people. This is the world we live in. People want fame, they want to be seen and it’s turning us to a self-obsessed, egotistical and arrogant culture. Me, me, me, it’s all about me; screw the rest of the world. I heard of two very disturbing incidents involving social media over the weekend.
The first had to do with that wanted man from Cleveland who shot a man to death and posted the death on a Facebook live video. Now this is so disturbing in so many fashions. 1) We’re allowing technology to permeate so deep into our daily lives that people have this desperate need to chronicle every single thing we do. Rather it’s walking a dog, eating dinner, cleaning the house, partying, smoking a cigarette; it seems social media has become our new diary. Instead of writing what we did during the day, let’s just record it on our phones or video and unleash it to the world for them to decipher.
I found it incredibly upsetting that people would indulge in wanting to even see someone get killed in real-time, yet alone share the link with others. You idiots, you are making this criminal more famous than what he should be. To make matters worse, you’re spreading a level of violence or hate that should NOT be unleashed to the masses. I think some people seriously fail to realize that there are young eyes out there that should not be aware of what is being depicted in everyday life.
The world is indeed a scary place and you cannot shield little ones from it all the time, but we’re adults here, we should be held accountable for our actions and think about our morals and ethics along the way. Unfortunately, the second incident I wanted to discuss involved the unbelievable video that was posted on social media of several men getting beat, and I mean beat, by a mob of men outside a casino in Detroit, Michigan. It’s sad for two reasons: 1) the person who took the video was more concerned about capturing what transpired instead of helping the injured parties 2) You posted the freakin video for the rest of the world to see! While you were recording that video, you could have been calling 911 or alerting police to try to stop the melee.
This boils my blood because I sense yet again, the bystander effect. For anyone who is a psychology major, or who has ever taken a psychology course, you understand the bystander effect explains that people placed in tense situations always look for others to take action before taking action themselves. The more people involved the stronger the chances of the bystander effect having an impact, which was clearly the case here.
Now to the person who recorded that video, what if the person being assaulted was your brother, your father, your cousin, your friend. You would indeed want someone to take action and assist to diffuse the situation, contact security or call the police right? I would hope so, but this is what I’m talking about; we live in a world where our desire to care for ourselves regardless of who gets hurt or who may need help does not matter. Our inability to show the slightest bit of compassion or the notion of having to step outside of our comfort zone to do something for the sake of rescuing and helping another person is too foreign for us.
Life is about choices, some 20 years ago, there was no Facebook, no Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, etc. Now that the world of social media has invaded our everyday lives; it seems we no longer know how to act or to consider the ramifications of doing something that can have devastating effects on others. How about we start utilizing social media for more good and not the bad?