The growth and spread of technology are changing the very way of people’s lives in all aspects. For example, technology is changing religious practices, political activities, social learning and economic activities such as e-business. Thanks to technology the world is today more connected than ever before. In fact, the world has become a global village where interactions such as social learning happens without geographical restrictions or even cultural difference effects. The paper is a discussion of the impacts of social media on social learning and crime. Social media is a necessary evil for social learning and crime in the world.
Social media is essential for social learning because it provides a channel through which borderless interaction occurs. Social learning is the process of learning where behaviors are socially acquired by observation and other social enforcement. The learning is influenced by symbolic communication channel which affects people’s thought, and actions (Recuero, 2015). Given that communication takes place in two ways including direct and indirect pathway. In the right learning process, social media promotes changes by informing, allowing for virtual interaction, motivates participation, and guide the social media user (Recuero, 2015). Therefore, socially, media influences the link where sharing to social networks and virtual community setting which offers natural incentives for desired change.
Indirect pathway boosts social learning through the diffusion of new behaviors concerning the psychological issues that control the acquisition of new ideas and adoption of the social network through which the knowledge is spread and supported (Vorderer, Steen and Chan 2006). For example, social structural interconnectedness gives the diffusion paths such as social cognitive factors that influence what skills and knowledge are learned through the social platforms.
Nonetheless, social media is evil because it promotes social learning that perpetuates violence. There is a global concern about the effects of media violence, particularly in the youth. Through social media, the young people can see, and learn about media violence that may lead to their aggression or worse into criminal behaviors (Freedman, 2002). There seems to be a link between media violence and social aggression in children. Social media promotes criminal behaviors by exposing the user to actions of physical abuse and violent lyrics (Kubrin, 2005). Today, social media platforms such the Facebook, Twitter, among other have violent information that can lead to social aggression. For example, when the youth who are the majority of social media user get and see such extreme information, they tend to believe that that is a good way of life.
As a matter of fact, upon learning such criminal acts in the social media, the user are tempted to practices what they have learned to their fellow human beings. Another example is the violent games that social media expose its user to (Huesmann, 2007). These games show physical aggression that when they get to the weak people who are quick into adopting the violent ways, there is a high likelihood that they will begin to exercise what they see in their daily activities (Ferguson, 2002). Besides, social media have criminal groups that recruit its members on the platforms. As such, social media user is at risk of joining criminal gangs with or without their consent only to realize when the damage had been done.
In conclusion, social media is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing since it improves the ways people interact globally. Today, through social media people in distant part of the world can comfortably reach out to other individuals in another far of places of the world. However, criminal have also invaded the social media platforms and are exposing violent content to the user. The user is, therefore, at a risk of being induced into these vigorous criminal activities which would promote crime.
- Ferguson, C. J. (2002). Media violence: Miscast causality. The American Psychologist 57(6−7), 446−447.
- Freedman, J. L. (2002). Media Violence and its Effect on Aggression: Assessing the Scientific Evidence. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
- Huesmann, L. R. (2007). The impact of electronic media violence: Scientific theory and research. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, S6−S13.
- Kubrin, C. E. (2005). Gangstas, thugs, and hustlas: Identity and the code of the street in rap music. Social Problems, 52(3), 360−378.
- Recuero, R. (2015). Social Media and Symbolic Violence. Social Media + Society, 1(1), 205630511558033.
- Vorderer, P., F.F. Steen and E. Chan. (2006). Motivation. In J. Bryant & P. Vorderer (Eds.), Psychology of Entertainment (pp. 3−18). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates