Crime, violence on social media affects you more than you think, experts say

Posted at 5:47 PM, Sep 16, 2016

In the recent tragic incident in Norton where the high school student was hit by the school bus, it's reported students were taking photos and videos and posting them on social media while the scene was unfolding.

Accidents, crime, fights as all things we're exposed to in an instant through social media. It is concerning and has a lasting impact. 

“Everything is being recorded everybody wants to record everything," said Thomas Smith, a student at Cleveland State University

“Sometimes you do see things that you don't want to see,” said Katie Hobbins, his classmate at CSU.

Several students today said they see some form of crime at least once a week.

“It's been all over my feed, all over my Twitter," said Journee Moss.

“I have been to places where there was violence occurring and people took on their phones...I think it's just a natural thing in today's age," Smith said.

Dr. Kathleen Stansberry, Social Media Professor at Cleveland State University, says the harsh negative images are a growing problem.

“We have access to mass communication channels as individuals that we never have before...some of it is selective exposure, how you choose to be exposed."

Earlier this year, the video of a Columbus girl who was periscoping her boyfriend rape another girl was all over social media pages, and then the video Baton Rouge police who shot and killed Alton Sterling. All of these are just some examples of what’s playing out every day for kids to watch.

“They're not trained journalist. There's no way they understand some of the implications of collecting information and sharing that information in a public space," Stansberry said.

So do those images still produce a shock factor for the younger generation?

“It's not shocking anymore because I'm so used to it.” Moss said. “It's almost as if I'm anticipating to see it all the time, it's almost like every time I get on social media I'm preparing myself to see someone killed."

After recently being bombarded with images of a woman shot and killed, Journee Moss said she is trying to take a break from it all.

“It's just sad, it's just really disturbing. I should be on social media for fun and for updates and to communicate with friends," she said.

A good choice experts say for something that could cause major issues.

“When those images, those short videos are shared yes there's a real danger there," Stansberry said.

Some of the students mentioned when they do see extremely violent videos they try to unfollow or block the person who posted it right away, which experts say is a good idea to protect your mind from damaging images.