When common sense escapes social media


inute video, not one of the perpetrators expressed remorse or urged the others to cut off the feed and call for help.

Each of these incidents has its own set of circumstances, but in each instance, most people who read about them and watched the videos, did so in horror. Hence, the public outrage and condemning. So why, then, do things like this keep happening?

Lisa Schubring, a behavioral care therapist with Prevea Health, said there have always been bad people who make bad decisions. We’re only more aware of it now because technology has made everything so easily accessible and shareable.

At the same time, Schubring said, the posts that have us asking, “Why are they doing this?” or, “Why are they recording and not helping?” likely stem from a change in the way people are processing what’s going on around them and their need for constant connection and validation.

Schubring said people, especially youth who’ve grown up with technology, have developed an almost insatiable need to document everything with photos, videos and social media posts. It’s become a social norm to the point that there’s a feeling that things need to be put on the internet to show they really happened — and many post to social media regardless of whether they’ll receive negative attention.

In fact, she said, things perceived as negative typically get more attention than things that are positive, and some people are validated by the attention.

Often times, Schubring said, that overshadows doing the right thing. All the posters care about in that moment is having an audience.

It’s very narcissistic, in addition to showing a lack of empathy.

Some of this likely has to do with age and brain development, Schubring said. The brain’s frontal lobe — the part that impacts decision making and forward thinking — isn’t fully developed until age 25. This explains why we tend to see these posts coming more from teenagers and young adults than older people. They simply don’t consider the consequences.

She suggests parents make it a point to teach children good communication as well as social media’s place in society. Moreover, the appropriate ways to handle emergency situations.

Perhaps one of the only good things that comes from these posts, is that the outrage over them can serve as an example to others of what not to do.