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Social Media Shaming Videos: Discipline For A Digital Age?

There seems to be a growing trend of parents using social networking sites and viral videos to embarrass, shame, and punish their children’s actions. Over the past few years we have seen kids holding signs on sites like Facebook that share details about their wrong-doings, parents smashing their belongings, and other form of new-age punishments meant to keep unruly children in check.

One of the latest viral videos to hit the net features a tween boy named Alex that is having an epic meltdown in the backseat of a car. The 3:00 minute video starts with a screaming child wanting to go home because his older brother had counseling and he didn’t want to go. The mother tells him that nobody is home to watch him so he proceeds to get even more erratic. The unbuckled child goes wild in the back seat before attacking the mother and even grabbing the steering wheel. His older brother laughs and taunts the boy as they threaten to ground him and put the video on Youtube. The situation escalates to the point of endangerment to not only the people in their vehicle but any other vehicles around them as seen in the video below that has gotten over 8 million hits on the original post in less than 2 days:

The real question about this practice is do people really know enough to understand the repercussions of placing things like this online? Could this viral video stick with him for life? What will his peers reactions be? Will it hinder his future job applications or school acceptance chances? This practice makes people in older generations very happy that there was no such thing as Youtube or Facebook during their wonder years. Whatever is placed online lives in cyberspace forever. This is a lesson we are all learning, some people the hard way.

As social media & digital marketers we’re always looking for viral content and ways to create it. It will be interesting to see what other trends become the norm in the upcoming years of our digital world discoveries.