News & Events

Student Opinions - Is there hope for Humanity in Bystander Voyeurism?

If you heard the rumors at my school today, you would have heard that four fights occurred. Rumors have a way of multiplying things. This is certainly not the first time there were fights at my high school. Even in an affluent town like Coppell, people have had their quarrels over the years.

I witnessed only one fight today, but it is the way I saw the fight that I find more disappointing than the fight itself. I watched it on someone’s iPhone. There they were, on the tiny screen, two young girls aggressively attacking each other. Why was I watching this? Why is my generation interested in watching and immortalizing two young women hurting each other? Has it come to this: we pull out our phones and film a fight rather than step up and stop it?

I am not naive. It is easier said than done to step in and stop a fight. In fact, it can be quite dangerous. But why is it that we would rather stand by in a circle and encourage a fight than to look for help, or shout at the participants to end it?
The physical harm, the sickening yells of “fight, fight, fight!” - these are not inherent of my generation alone. The sheer animalism of fighting is not unique either. However, this aggressive behavior is no longer confined to a single moment, an instant in time when we forgot that the power of love is greater than that of violence.

Now, these moments are captured on cameras and digitally downloaded, shared and available forever in the annals of a technological time warp. Anyone who wants another dose of adrenaline can watch those two girls going after each other as a voyeur in perpetuity.
As technology and social networking continue to dominate society, there is a likely chance that both the voyeurism and the hostile aggression will escalate. Still, it is my hope that we, my generation, can take a step back and realize that everything is not worth documenting. We must hold on to our compassion, our ability to be empathetic. Without compassion and empathy, we lose what makes us human. Share this message with your friends.

By Madison Ford, age 18