Parenting, Teen Mental Health

15 January, 2020

Young people and parents can be proactive in addressing unhealthy behaviours of sharing violent content on social media, says our Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, Dr Colman Noctor.

Following recent media reports of teenagers orchestrating attacks and fights to capture on their phones and share footage online, Dr Noctor spoke on the issue on RTÉ One’s Claire Byrne Live on 13 January.

When asked what teenagers gain from uploading this kind of footage online, Dr Noctor explains that although the causes of violence are complex, the sharing part of it can be understood.

"It’s about social currency and it’s about getting likes: violence is click-bait.”

Dr Noctor emphasizes that the speed at which content is uploaded and the extent to which it travels online can cause “quite extensive psychological and self-esteem damage for young people”. While acknowledging this, Dr Noctor also explores the positive actions young people and parents can take to address this behavior.

Supports discussed include self-defence classes for young people and the importance of a young person having one good adult in their life.

Dr Noctor also emphasizes that:

"we need to encourage the bystander to stop liking these videos. We can be empowered to be upstanding rather than bystanding."

Dr Colman Noctor speaking on Claire Byrne Live

Dr Colman Noctor speaking on Claire Byrne Live

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