Violent content comes in many forms. We see it in games, videos, TV, movies, music, and news reports. This content can be graphic and may include intense, brutal, shocking, and sometimes real or live acts of violence.
Violent content can be distressing, shocking and traumatising for young people who come across it, especially if they were not expecting it.
The regular consumption of extreme violent content may impact a young person’s wellbeing and development. The overconsumption of violent content can in some cases lead to ‘desensitisation’, which means young people may react less to it.
There is no consensus on the impact of violence on the ability to feel empathy. However, some researchers suggest desensitisation could make children feel numb to the pain and suffering of others.
Viral Fight Videos
You may be aware that sometimes during a fight, bystanders choose to record or live-stream rather than intervene.
If a child in your care shares footage of a fight online, you should explain the impact this could have on other people, particularly when someone gets injured or if they capture potential evidence of criminality. You could ask them to consider how it would feel to have violent images like this shared of them or someone they cared about.
You may also want to talk to children in your care about what they would do if they saw a fight happening. This can be an opportunity to explain why they shouldn’t live stream or record fights.
Help young people in your care understand that posting information about planned or recent fights could impact their future prospects.