With the destruction of the Maxima vehicle at the University of Albany, New York by students wielding beer and eggs during the pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration says something about North American society. The fact that our society is de-sensitized by violence to the point of entertainment is a frightening thought. In this YouTube video, 2011 Kegs and Eggs riot and wrecked maxima, people are standing and watching criminal activity unfold while using their iphones to record and use later to upload to the internet. Entertainment by criminal activities is unacceptable behaviour. The “bystander effect” is a psychological term which may provide an explanation for this attitude and conduct. The diffusion of responsibility by each bystander assumes that another will take action and when this is not the case, then pluralistic ignorance may come into effect. This is when an individual looks around the group and because no one is doing anything to help, they assume that no one else perceives there to be an emergency. However, doing the right thing is more important than a tweet, Facebook comment, or YouTube video for entertainment. What if it were someone’s life at stake? Would society pull out an iphone and record it? Or do the right thing and take the steps to intervene or prevent the situation from happening?
March 26, 2011