ENG 1100 I
September 30, 2014
Teens Take Over Facebook: The Effects of Social Media on Human Socialization Along with the expansion of technology in today’s society, the use of social media has erupted in high schools across North America. The birth of Facebook has revolutionized how students interact with one another. Despite Facebook being an effective communication tool, its purpose of facilitating socialization is manipulated by high school students into a means for virtually harassing their peers. Through the resources that Facebook provides, certain teenagers become predators whom are unleashed into a boundless hunting ground where they prey on their classmates by uploading violent videos, sending anonymous threats, and circulating private photos. Alongside this, Facebook is a portal for apathetic bystanders to witness physical and mental abuse from behind the security of their screen.
The ability to share videos on Facebook should simply be a source of heart-warming content; however, this is not the case. As a result of their desire to achieve self-actualization, bullies use this medium to display their “art” to a wider, interscholastic audience. More specifically, teenagers post video footage of violent assaults against their peers on their Facebook pages in hopes that others will watch and repost it, causing the videos to become “viral”. For instance, after being defeated in a match against neighbouring Longfields Davidson Heights Secondary School last fall, the captain of the Mother Teresa High School soccer team made it his goal to personally embarrass a member of the opposing team. While his teammate recorded, the captain confronted his target, assaulted him, and posted the video on Facebook. To the aggressor’s satisfaction, the video rapidly spread across the school board. Considering this, it is seen that bullies take advantage of other teenagers’ morbid curiosity in order to gain a sense of gratification through Facebook. In general terms, Facebook’s functionality is abused by these teenagers to satisfy their amoral desires and allows for widespread humiliation of helpless victims.
In addition, Facebook boasts a notably simple registration process which requires absolutely no proof of identity, thus allowing for yet another area of exploitation. While an undesirable stigma is often associated with individuals guilty of inflicting physical and personal harm onto others, Facebook offers a seamless alternative. Creating a false Facebook account gives high school students a way to send offensive and abusive messages directly to their target without ever compromising their reputation or confidentiality. As one of many similar examples, recently, a male student at Mother Teresa High School reported that he had been instructed to commit suicide because of his homosexuality by an unauthentic Facebook account. Despite the incident being reported to the administrative staff as well as the police, neither charges nor repercussions were ever administered due to the culprit’s anonymity. Evidently, Facebook can be manipulated to effectively act as an unstoppable weapon in an already violent arsenal and allow belligerent discourse without the naturally associated consequences. Alas, Facebook is misused by high school students to simply and anonymously attack their classmates; however, not all the harassment comes in such a discrete form.
Amongst all else, one of the most prominent forms of harassment in high schools today is cyber-sexual bullying. Through Facebook, female students are pressured and/or coerced into taking and sending nude photos of themselves to their male classmates. In many cases, the female students are doing