The Effects Of Violence And Bullying On Youth’s Individual Behaviors

Violence and bullying behaviors are factors of life for youths. Violent episodes can take the form of physical altercations as well as emotional taunting, and cyber bullying via online attacks through social media. Bullying among children is a significant public health issue worldwide. Bullying can be defined as repeated, intentional aggression, perpetrated by a more powerful individual or a group against a less powerful victim. Cyber bulling or media violence can have short-and long-term effects affects that can influence individual behaviors.

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To begin with, I think social media exposes young children to too many things that they may not understand. Social media can negatively affect young children because it allows them to see other peoples’ lives while they are still immature. Children, especially bullies exposed to this much freedom can use the social media platform to make immature, violent, and unhealthy decisions. To me, social media enables many people to become bullies or a bully-victim without any type of consequence. This platform made it very easy and accessible for bullies to post an embarrassing picture online or spread rumors online to humiliate their victims. As a result, victims tend to skip or drop out of school, use alcohol and drugs, suffer poor self-esteem, and engage in risky behavior. But it is worth remembering that social media is just one of several influences on this kind of behavior. Other more powerful influence includes family and friends. In this case, victims can be considered as an “in group” member, whereas a bully can be considered as an “out group” member. “Out group” members are more distancing and discriminating than “in group” members.

Mass media is a new agent that is become more and more prominent in our society. Most of the media that will affect people the most would be the media that children see. Children may learn norms on social media that they carry into real life. Exposure to media has grown to become a crucial of modern life. Media influences do play a significant part in shaping an individuals’ behavior. Seeing violent content often is enough to make it more likely that someone will behave in an aggressive or violent way, be less understanding of other peoples’ needs and feelings, or feel more afraid of their environment. In other words, violence becomes their reality and they are unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy. For instance, media introduces violence to youths using platforms like video games and movies. This kind of content doesn’t always show what would happen in real life, which can lead to that youths don’t get a realistic understanding of what happens when you are violent in real life. As an example, the number of school shootings in USA is an indication of this very fact.

Furthermore, due to sensual and explicit movies, youths have a distorted idea of what sex is all about; the media portrays it as natural and normal to indulge in without a thought about the consequences. Therefore, enacting what they observe can often cause them to make unhealthy decisions resulting in teen pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases. Moreover, internet is not secure, so it is not hard for them to view porn. Even if kids accidentally log on to inappropriate websites, they will slowly develop a habit to go back and watch it. This can push them to be sexually active at an early age, and can make them disrespectful towards the idea of long term commitment after watching such (porn) videos. Advertising and movies propel the idea of bad habits of being “cool”, with teenagers picking up their first cigarette and using drugs and alcohol at an early age. The influence is heavy when it comes to music videos, explicit movies (those rated for adults only), advertising and TV shows.

As per Errante, there are many ways parents, educators and youth groups, and other concerned with bullying, peer group conflicts, or youth gang violence can develop strategies to address these problems. One of the significant approach recommend by Errante is that we need culturally and socially constructed socialization templates that put a premium on non-violent masculinities. Furthermore, parents and educators should start by teaching kids about self – respect and modeling positive relationships, empathy, and impulse control. The better adjusted a child is, the more resilient they will turn out to be. Teach boundaries by setting limits and appropriate rules and regulations. Most importantly, be available.

15 July 2020

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