As regular readers of my blog will know I have a rather split view of social media. The positive negative split is leaning toward the negative today. A recent report has shown that “One in three internet users between the ages of 12 and 15 say they saw “hate speech” online in the past year, according to Ofcom’s latest survey of children’s media habits.”
I have written about hate on numerous occasions and this recent report has many worrying repercussions psychotherapeutically. I see a number of clients in my office who have issues regarding anger and hate. An interesting common factor for many of these sufferers is that they “learned” these behaviours in their youth. Now, the clients I am referring to are the last generation to have grown up without the internet.
When we consider that this current generation of “Millennials” have had the internet all of their lives, it is easy to see that the hate seen on line may well have a greater effect on them over the course of their lives. A difficulty is that it is very difficult for parents to appropriately moderate what their kids are seeing. Worse still, it is adults spouting this hatred, and adults are generally trusted by children and therefore children may well believe that this hatred is acceptable. This will have an impact on their lives and those who have taken this hatred to heart may well find themselves in the office of someone like me sometime in their lives due to this.
We adults need to be clear that hatred begets hatred and we all have a responsibility to the next generation to ensure that they are raised in as safe an environment as possible, so think before you post.