Social Media Leads to Teen Violence

By: Emma Lehto

Is there a link between social media and teen violence?

Yes. Teens that see violence frequently on social media often have become more aggressive, less sensitive to seeing gory violence, and are less sympathetic to those who have been victims of violence (Pozios).

People have argued the exposure to violent imagery does not force violence. What do you say to this?

Violence is not an every time occurrence from teens seeing violence take place on social media, but I'm going to compare it to smoking. Just because a long time smoker has yet to get cancer from smoking does not mean there is no connection between smoking and lung cancer (Pozios).

Not only has social media a place for teens to see violence it is a place to promote violence or using it for fame. Explain this.

Recently it has been see that teens are using social media as a place to personally promote violence. Gangs have begun to use these sites as a place to call out other gangs and this has lead to many shootings and deaths of teens. Many are also seeing it as a place to get famous. They see how popular fighting videos have become on sites like YouTube and decide to find someone to fight or instigate a fight so they can get popular on these sites (Bostic).

Is all of the violence occuring online physical?

No, the name for this electronic violence is known as electronic aggression. It is when people make threats to another person or harass them through the things they say. It is most common among teens and pre teens because they find it easier than confronting someone in person (Electronic).

How can these situations be fixed?

There needs to be more patrolling of social media sights and stricter rules and laws that are enforced by cyber cops. This type of behavior needs to be studied by psychologists and sociologist to better understand the reasoning teens have behind the need for violence and what in their mind pushes to this need other than just seeing the images (Crime). Modifying the violence level that is allowed on social media sites is one of the easiest ways to begin the fight against violence that is arising among teens.

Work Cited

Bostic, Brittany. "Does Social Media Perpetuate Youth Violence?" Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center. U of Michigan, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. <http://yvpc.sph.umich.edu/2014/02/20/social-media-perpetuate-youth- violence/>.

Pozios, Vasilis K. "Does Media Violence Lead to the Real Thing?" The Sunday Review. The New York Times, 23 Aug. 2013. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/opinion/sunday/does-media-violence-lead-to-the-real-thing.html>.

"Crime and Violence within Social Networks like Facebook." The Americas Post. The Americas Post, Web. 22 Mar. 2015. <http://www.theamericaspostes.com/3698/crime-and-violence-within-social- networks-like-facebook/>.

"Electronic Aggression." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 Dec. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/electronicaggression/>.