SOCIETY has been sliced wide open by social media, and if we’re not careful, our newfound, unfettered ‘share everything’ mindset is going to bite us all on the behind.
Thanks to platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the rest, we now have access to people, experiences, situations and insights that, even just a few years ago, were off limits.
Many amongst us celebrate this access. But me? I don’t like it. And it’s because I believe that in many cases, these things are off limits for a reason.
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For instance, middle-aged men are not meant to have unencumbered access to every little detail of a 17-year-old girl’s glamorous day… complete with lingerie poses and pouty selfies.
And the graphic details of a shooting – including images of the bullet-riddled, deceased body of a teenage boy – are not meant to be tagged and filtered before being shared on the web.
But that’s where we are. Well done, society, we’ve reached a new low.
Last month, a 14-year-old boy in the Bronx was shot and killed just a few metres from his home.
As neighbours, friends and strangers gathered around the slain teen, grisly, raw photos of the scene were uploaded and shared online. Heartbreakingly, a comment on one image read, “That’s my brother right there.”
Can you imagine being this boy’s brother and stumbling across this image? Worse still, imagine being his mother?
Surely there are still some parts of society that deserve, if not demand, privacy and respect. In the above situation, that image may have been circulating before the police even arrived on the scene, and before the boy’s family were informed.
I see this issue getting worse before it gets better, because the problem is, this is how many people (particularly young people) respond to life now.
When something happens – good, bad, happy, tragic, uplifting, barely even noteworthy – the natural response is to share it. Tag it and bag it baby. Photos or it didn’t happen.
Am I the only one who finds this more than a little unsettling?
Because in my view, photos of a dead boy being shared on social media just minutes after he passed away is beyond disturbing. And if this is the new normal, then I want off.
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