Social Empathy Essay

Social Empathy Essay

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Social media has changed the way people communicate with each other and in turn, has affected our ability to empathize in both negative and positive ways. One of the most harmful consequences is the rise of cyber-bullying. Another negative issue has been the trend of trolling in comments sections of websites, chat rooms, and other online venues of communication. In spite of this, there have been constructive consequences due to social media such as the ability for family and friends to keep in touch on a regular basis. Because of social media, many people are finding support and resources to help them when they fall on hard times or experience tragedies like death and illness. Overall, social media is an exciting new world that changes as it grows and it will be up to society to utilize it for good.
A lack of empathy is found in the growing trend of cyber-bullying. "Jumping off GW bridge sorry." That was the last status update Tyler Clementi ever posted to his Facebook page before leaping to his death off the George Washington Bridge in New York City. About a month before his suicide, Tyler, who was gay, had started his freshman year at Rutgers University and found himself housed with a roommate who was not at ease with those who were open with their homosexuality. Unbeknownst to Tyler, his roommate began to electronically spy on him and eventually recorded him kissing a man. The roommate then posted the video to YouTube and soon Tyler’s fateful and heartbreaking Facebook status would follow (Cloud). The combination of the roommates inability to empathize with Tyler’s lifestyle with the ease of communicating to a broad audience online, proved to be a deadly combination. Unfortunately, stories like Tyler’s have become more common ...

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...he positive outcomes from the rise of social media along with numerous instances of strangers helping others in times of need. As more people utilize online communication, empathy will play an important role in deciding if it does more harm or more good for society.

Works Cited

Billitteri, Thomas J. "Preventing Bullying." CQ Researcher 10 Dec. 2010: 1013-36. Web. 23
Oct. 2013.
---, Thomas J. "Cyberbullying." CQ Researcher 2 May 2008: 385-408. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.
Cloud, John. "Bullied To Death?" Time 176.16 (2010): 60-63. Academic Search Complete.
Web. 23 Oct. 2013.
Dellorto, Danielle. “Burned Iraqi Boys Stands Tall 6 Years Later.” CNN 21 Mar. 2013. Web.
11 Dec. 2013 US Department of Health and Human Services. Web. 23 Oct. 2013
Wang, Shirley S. “Could Those Hours Online Be Making Kids Nicer?” Wall Street Journal
16 Aug. 2011. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.

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