Young With Guns: How Social Media Fuels Violence

Is Facebook making you more violent?

Posted: 04/30/2014 09:55 AM EDT

Picture two girls arguing on the playground.

They stand nose-to-nose, hurling insults. Deep down inside, neither girl really wants to fight; neither girl wants to be known as the girl that doesn’t want to fight either.  As the crowd builds around them, waiting to see (or in this case, tape) the fight, someone will likely instigate the action: “Come on, what are y’all gonna do? Hit that b–!”

And the fight ensues.

On Facebook, the argument is likely to begin as a passive/aggressive status update, calling the enemy out, and only the poster’s “Friends” have a clue about what is going on. One of the ‘Friends’ becomes the instigator, and nestled safely behind the computer screen (or on her smart phone) she’ll post a comment to the passive/aggressive status post, or share it with the intended enemy:

“OMG. Did she just put you on blast like that?”

And the battle of the status updates ensue. Unlike the playground fight, the Facebook beef won’t go away anytime soon because there is a written history of the insults exchanged, and more eyeballs are sure to Like, Share, and take screen captures of the beef to keep the mess going.

Just like the two girls on the playground, neither Facebook enemy  wants to appear to bow out of the beef first, so a real-life resolution must occur.

Most times, the resolutions are fights; sometimes it ends in murder.  In Chicago, 14-year-old Endia Martin was gunned down when a fight over a boy led to a Facebook beef.

Endia’s stepfather, Kent Kennedy, told the Chicago Tribune Endia and the suspect had been feuding on Facebook. “They had words and she gunned our daughter down. For what? What reason would another girl gun down another child?

Read more about how social media influences teen violence at BlackDoctor.Org.

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(Photo: Jason Stitt/ GettyImages)

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