Twitter has its critics, as do all forms of social media but as I have written previously, it is not social media itself that is necessarily a problem but those who use - or misuse - it. Again a point that I have made before is that humankind has a marked capacity for taking a good idea and doing as I have just said, misusing it. Almost everything that has been invented has a good aim behind it and almost everything can be used wrongly by those of a mind to do so. Including social media, like Twitter.
Twitter is actually not a bad idea, in that it enables anybody to express their opinion on any subject but they must be brief and to the point with the limited number of characters available. It has two drawbacks however. The first is yet another point I have made before, in that it permits the use of fake names. Once again as I have said before, on my twitter account I use my real name - why should I not? I can't think of a reason but many people prefer to remain anonymous. This has its own problem in that - human nature to a degree - the temptation to simply be abusive is great. And far too many people do indeed use Twitter to insult others. Most people however, and to their credit, are not abusive.
Abuse can come in many forms though. Words are the most oft-used, both verbally and in writing, which is the second drawback to Twitter. A blunt sentence of insult and threat can sometimes be more hurtful and offensive than a flood of words and that sentence can almost leap off the page at the reader. Actions too can be offensive and this was graphically shown in a recent tweet, accompanied by a short video clip.
The video showed a group of school children apparently attacking a pavement cafe in Croydon, South London and doing so with a display of remarkable violence. The tweet itself said this: 'London isn’t London anymore. Check out how some of the *new* more diverse London kids behave.'
All the children in the video were in school uniform and all were black. The video had been copied from another Twitter user's account and lasts just twenty-five seconds. There is no detail as to what was, or had actually happened and thus there are a number of assumptions made with the comment, the first being that these children were all from recent immigrant families. The second assumption was that it was nothing more than random violence inflicted by feral children.
So was it? I made my own comment and wrote: 'Allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment. Without knowing the real facts behind this, rational comment is a little difficult but chances are somebody said something offensive to the kids involved.'
There were a number of responses, some of which supported my contention that simply because the children were black that did not make them foreign or from immigrant families; they might well have been born and raised here in the UK with parents also born and raised in the UK. Skin colour is irrelevant. Other responses also supported my remark that since nobody knew what had actually happened, we could not say with certainty that this was one thing or another. In the main however, most comments were along the lines that behaviour such as that displayed by these children was wrong and I agree entirely that it was. Let us assume for a moment (dangerous I know but do so for the purpose of this discussion) that something had been said to these children some moments prior to the actions shown in the video clip, something deeply offensive. Every action has a reaction and this is shown by these children - they reacted to that which preceded their behaviour in the video. Their actions were still wrong but it does raise a question.
People have always reacted to things differently; some quite placidly, others less so. That's human nature again since everybody is different but there is today a marked tendency to violent behaviour regardless. Why? Not too many years ago, youngsters would have been more inclined to get away from anything that would have provoked the reaction seen in the video but today, a mob mentality seems to have taken over and, buoyed by numbers, these children felt able to attack somebody as a result of whatever it was that had happened to cause them to respond as they did. Why is it that the default position now is to be violent? Where did the example come from?
The experts will probably blame it all on social media, playstation and online grooming. Perhaps that does play a part but do not parents and peers also have a role to play here? Does not the impression that children today have that, whatever they do, somebody else will always get the blame and they get to walk away with no sanction, have something to do with it? The actions of these children are a reflection of their own upbringing and what has surrounded them as they have grown up.
Yes, these children must have a sense of responsibility for their actions but that has to come from somewhere and the where is what preceded them. The society we have today is the society that we collectively have allowed to develop. Let me give you an example; at the recent football match between England and The Netherlands in Portugal, a number of English men were involved in violent acts, as they often are at such matches. But why are we, after more than fifty years of football hooliganism, still seeing this? In my previous article on this very subject (https://www.kjmtoday.com/single-post/2018/12/15/Social-Affairs-Did-they-ever-go-away) I made the point that those who were in at the start of bad behaviour at football matches were in their teens when they first got involved. Nothing was done to correct it at the time and those young people are now Grandparents or maybe even Great-grandparents,
As you sow, so shall you reap goes the saying, and that is where we are now. The UK has done a pretty impressive job at doing nothing about anything and the responsibility for these children and their attitude lies with everybody; parents, police, politicians, teachers, everybody.
The society we have today is the society that we have created and deserve.
© Kevan James 2019.
What's your view? Use the get-in-touch form at the bottom of the home page and let us know what you think for publication on our 'Reader's Remarks' page. Please remember however that KJM Today will not publish comments unless your real name and address are included although we will only use your name and town or city (not your full address). We will withhold names and address if asked.