Social cowardice

Have you ever sat back and asked yourself, what happened to our society to make us such cowards?

With the advent of camera phones, along with the growing presence of social media and streaming sites, we have all come to grow familiar with interesting and surprising videos. Ranging from seconds to minutes in length there are videos of various types.

If you want to see cute, adorable kitten videos there is a niche for that. If you’re interested in watching clips of soldiers coming home from oversees to joyous tears of welcome, again, the internet has you covered. Maybe you want to watch a video of a street fight between numerous men and/or women? Yup, there are plenty of those going around as well.

The problem isn’t necessarily the fact that such fights are being recorded. The problem comes when an elderly man, or a young mother, is attacked by a man, or a group of men, and the resulting violence is recorded and later uploaded to one of numerous social media sites.

This begs the ultimate question: If you had the time to record it, why not do something to stop it? Is it because it is less shocking to let something like this happen than it is to intervene on a victim’s behalf? Or are we too cowardly to do something about it, but not too scared to film it and share it in the hopes of getting more views on our respected pages, walls and/or timelines?

One such site, World Star Hip Hop, is notorious for uploading and sharing hundreds of violent fight videos. In one such video, during an altercation in what appears to be a subway station, one of the two men involved is stabbed repeatedly in the torso.

Does the individual recording the incident do anything to stop this possible attempted murder? Of course not. But he does point out how it is a black on black crime, and that he is amazed at how no one in the surrounding crowd is doing anything to stop the stabbing that is occurring right in front of their eyes.

Another instance occurred in Memphis,Tennessee, when a flash mob decided to play the knockout game. Three random bystanders were viciously attacked by well over 100 participants of the “game,” and while the individuals who filmed the incident made sure to mention how idiotic it was, that doesn’t change the fact that they sat back and acted as spectators rather than doing something about it.

This seems to be a growing trend in our modern society. Ranging from attacks on buses to elderly men being robbed and beaten in gas station parking lots. And let’s not forget the “knock out” game that was so popular this past year. Did anyone take the time to step in and possibly help the victims? Of course not, but they did share it for the viewing pleasure of the masses.

The saddest thing is, rather than speak out and demand the removal of such videos and such sites, we all sit back and enjoy the show. Have we sacrificed our dignity as a people, along with the courage to do what’s right and just, for the bells and whistles of being a modern and cutting edge society? Perhaps we’ve simply lost the ability to know the difference between what is right and what is wrong while we are viewing life through the lens of a camera phone.