Does Social Media Induce Violence Among Youth?

Media influences its audiences in both positive as well as negative manner. Recently, social media has become a significant part of everyday life and has a massive impact on the behavior and minds of people who use it. Social media has intertwined itself into almost every aspect of our lives. Whether we use it for information, to make new friends or to express our opinion, social media has integrated itself into the world around us and helps us to stay connected.

However, the negative effects of social media cannot be kept far aside. Concerns have been raised that social media likely encourages young people to participate in violence and has a large impact on their behavior.

Several news reports of cyber bullying, criminal activity on social media or through it, gang violence, and suicide have surfaced and social media appears to fuel these troubling incidents.

The advancement in technology has led to a greater access to firearms and harmful explosives, and it is even more encouraged by social media, raising serious concerns. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are considered to be the drivers of violent crimes. They also tend to instigate people into indulging in criminal activities.

Recent violent crimes by the youth in the U.S. have shown the extent of the impact of social media on their behavior.

In September 2014, a Pennsylvania teen was jailed for two years after he posted pictures of himself having oral sex with a statue of Jesus on social media. The images went viral and faced a backlash among communities, New York Daily News had reported at that time.

Media-influenced violence is spread across every platform including television. While youth violence could stem from numerous factors like poverty, child abuse, community violence, or other psychiatric disorders, research suggests that their exposure to media violence plays a rather significant role in the formation and escalation of violent behavior, according to American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

According to CBS affiliate KMOV.com, an organization called “Better Family Life” came up with a “Neighborhood Alliance Model” in 2015, where representatives from the organization visited door to door around the neighborhoods, sending out the message on how to keep communities safe and help counter the influence of social media on behavior that resulted in violence.

One of their messages included targeting parents who were asked to monitor their children’s…

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