How The Influence Of Modern Technology Could Shape A Person Into Bystander

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In our everyday lives once we step out of our house we are not able to tell what might happen to the rest of our day. As the saying goes “Life is full of surprises.” Indeed; With that being said, that is like witnessing a crime, or someone in distress in the street, in the hallway or somewhere and you probably might be intervene or not intervene because our mind pushing us to think that we do not want to involve in that situation and so you pull out your phone or camera to take a video or photo of what you see and post it on your social media accounts hoping someone would call the authorities or help the person without knowing that you are actually turning yourself into bystander. For instance, the example of the twenty-eight-year-old Catherine ‘Kitty’ Genovese was murdered and raped On the street in Kew Gardens, New York, in the early morning hours of March 13, 1964. To begin with, only after a week of Martin Gansberg’s famous article titled “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder, didn’t call the Police.” In the New York Times the case has not gained too much attention until it was published. In fact, the incident was witnessed by only twelve people, yet each did nothing to help Genovese significantly until it was too late. The given crime scene has become the ultimate example of the “bystander effect” meaning regularly alludes in connection to a situation where a greater number of individuals are present, watching the person in trouble or in distress, yet they will be simply watching the person suffer rather than to help and call the authorities. People are more likely to help a person in distress or make a move against the situation if there are no witnesses present, it is the dread of being assessed and getting involved. The reason there is consistently scattering of duty is that individuals feel less responsible or mindful of assistance in a situation where there are more witnesses around. The bystander effect arises from a misinterpretation of an undefined emergency situation as a non-emergency based on their own past experiences or other social signals. In the face of ambiguous situations, people initially look for reference clues of past experiences.

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The bystander effect is also attributed to a diffusion of responsibility, since the lack of action of every witness can be rationalized. On the other hand, Today’s technology and social media have influenced our worldwide surroundings in various manners. Modern technology has made a further developed society and the economy. We use technology such as cell phones, cameras, radios, etc. In each part of life today, new advancements and innovation help make a more stable environment and lessens the crime rates. The use of technology and social media in the criminal equity framework isn’t new however it is still progressively obvious today.

However, the usage of technology makes us feel a human chain in social media, but it’s actually turning us into bystanders. News stories have included individuals who live-videoing or Peri-scoping a horrifying crime, the respondents have declared the video was to be used as confirmation, or that they couldn’t intervene or else they additionally would mediate to what is Happening. Numerous individuals use to post live occasions as opposed to enjoying genuine real-life experiences. Is this the reality when individuals are seeing a crime scene? Increasingly shocking crime scenes are being indicated sharply as a result of witnesses and observers taping an incident and the aftermath.

February 27’th in the year of 2016 a young woman was charged with kidnapping, assault, and sexual abuse involving a minor for Peri-scoping the rape of her 29-year-old male partner, a teenager. She captured a live video of the sexual assault instead of helping her friend or attempting to interfere in the abuse and uploaded it to her Periscope. The attorney for the prosecution stated “Mrs. Lonina had apparently hoped that live-streaming the attack would help to stop it, but that she became enthralled by positive feedback online.” It is disturbing that as her defense the only main thing that she could do is to take her phone up and to take a video against what is happening during that time. Dara Greenwood states, a professor of Psychology; “The thrill of documenting something that might elicit attention from one’s peers and lead to a feeling of ‘optimal distinctiveness’ may also underlie motivations for posting sensational or unethical behaviors.” She also added, “Young adults in particular may be vulnerable to this kind of behavior because of the central role that peer approval plays in their life stage.” The need for acceptance ultimately determines whether to gain attention and validation a bystander should intervene or report the assault on social media. Adolescents, when they rely heavily on peer control, are even more vulnerable to the bystander effect. Peer pressure also prevents them from interfering if none of their peers intervene, because they are afraid that their friends will disapprove. Therefore, the witnesses are more likely to keep watching and not to interfere if reporting a crime earns positive feedback, as they did in this case of sexual assault. Users also wonder if the sites are to blame at all, as they are the ones that should be blocked for publishing content. Such social media platforms, however, at any given time receive far too much content to be able to successfully censor content submitted. A recent example of this has been twitter banning certain images and videos commonly associated with prohibited content, or generating excessive sensitive information where twitter cannot censor it.

Moreover, the other similar brutality that has happened in the small town of Steubenville in Ohio, where in gathering public citizens’ attention regarding the rape case of a sixteen-year-old young girl from West Virginia that was reported while she was unconscious of being drunk. The initial suspect named as the two football players in high school. Among all the witnesses, but also a bunch of teenagers did not hesitate to help the victim, but rather post what was happening to their social media accounts which resulted the bystander effect because the witnesses should of prevented the defendants while abusing the victim and called the authorities to save the person who is life is at stake. According to Kathleen Parker, “In the 21st century, it isn’t possible to keep such weapons out of the hands of children. At the very least, the young should be taught to treat the artillery of social media with the same fear and loathing we demand for all deadly weapons. Otherwise, we risk becoming bystanders to our own dystopia.” What Parker is acknowledging is that as of today’s generation the handling of technology most commonly smart phones and cameras cannot stop people from using it but at least at the start from the very young age of future generation to inform them that social media is not just a regular platform but it could also break your life into pieces and turn a person into a lack of cognitive awareness. In addition to that, Eddie Adams a photographer who captured Vietnamese General, Nguyen Loan for shooting Viet Cong operator Nguyen Van-Lem in the head. He stated “the most powerful weapon in the world.” He is trying to say that whether photographs reflect the reality it once you capture the picture and post it into different social media platforms once the people start to see the certain photo, the images last forever.

For instance, in some cases, bullying is taking place on the internet and in actual life, but particularly more violent on what we called cyberbullying. There have been multiple accounts of students being harassed on live videos, which are then uploaded for consumption by other individuals, prolonging the harassment and allowing other individuals to participate in the taunting. Tragically, a large number of documented incidents lead the victim to commit a suicide. Farida Rahman states, “So there are more technical issues with Periscope.” And she added, “And I have an additional long list, but they don’t bother me as they will be resolved somehow with time.” She is trying to explain that Periscope tends to be a susceptive medium for sexual harassment and bullying, because viewers can respond quickly in time. Since March of 2015 that it was released, it was weighed down with offensive and disgusting comments, generally coordinated towards women. Unfortunately, this case is also intertwined to the bystander effect, where students witness or even engage in bullying to prevent from having negative responses. By concealing behind their phones, computers, iPads because it is easier to do so online.

In the final analysis, Social media has an enormous influence on our society and culture, particularly for those generations who are highly socially aware, but also extremely sensitive to peer pressure. Millennials and even younger generations emphasize online interactions such as reacting and commenting on their posts, they feel that those responses reflect to their own self-worth. Young people thought that getting likes and reactions are actually beneficiary, but in reality, they fail to connect to reality, such to intervene in time of crisis. Since the enhancement of live-video platforms, we should educate people how to correctly use these mediums and how to notice dangerous situations that might not make filming suitable. Peer approval may always be a key part of culture but, without fear or eventually being another victim, we should always recognize ways to get youth and adults to intervene correctly in certain situations. Bystander effect continuously worsens like those people who recorded horrifying events, even when they possibly could have intervened regardless of the situation. We must determine the role of social media to use it in a proper manner and not to take it as a fame and publicity but therefore use it as private purposes. 

16 August 2021

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