by Spencer Krumholz
We have witnessed the American justice system at work once again in the Steubenville trial.
The now convicted high school students, once the epitome of everyday jocks, partiers and social celebrities, have secured jail sentences for raping an inebriated, unconscious teenage girl.
Once in the spotlight of national media attention, this shocking and controversial case explores the influence of social media, alcohol and mob-mentality in high school life.
Social media played a gigantic role in this case.
It was through this that the defendant saw herself inebriated and unconscious, unable to resist any foul play.
A glorified high school society, bent on the necessity of proof, uploaded and discussed the incident to the point of national discussion.
By this time, the girl had been bullied, harassed and shot into a wave of infamous and unwelcome popularity.
I know the majority of high school students are sick of hearing about how they should be careful about what they post on the Internet, but it is true what we are telling you.
Every picture you post on Instagram, every status you post on Facebook, every upload to YouTube and every tweet on Twitter stays in cyberspace forever.
No matter how many times you delete, refresh and pray, that picture, status or video is never fully gone.
Unfortunately justice was not fully served.
The main culprit and instigator got away clean handed.
While national media focused on the decline of morality in our nation’s schools, the influence of alcohol went virtually untouched.
Silence overcame the media. There were no editorials on the over use and presence of alcohol in nearly all high schools, or how easy it is for minors to acquire it.
This issue is now well beyond the law. As alcohol’s presence in teen’s life increases, the need for change in how we handle teaching our children about drinking becomes more imperative.
It is easy to discuss the role mob-mentality had on this situation.
The ever-present pressure from fellow classmates to drink, have sex or do drugs is growing exponentially.
The phrase, “I enjoy just learning from my mistakes,” is becoming the popular excuse to go out and get into trouble.
We partake in illicit activities because we see everyone else doing it.
We see the cool kids or celebrities do it and suddenly believe that their thoughts are superior to everything that is conventionally right.
We are a living contradiction to ourselves through our concessions to mob-mentality.
We are a society driven to prove the conventionalists wrong, although it sacrifices all moral code and does nothing to encourage personal responsibility.
Peer pressure is a cultural phenomenon that has been around for generations.
However, the big difference today is that there is most likely a camera, smart phone or other device to record these wrong-doings.
With the presence of these items, there is a chance that you will pay a bigger price.
It is important to remember that the preservation of friends, family and even your life is much more relevant than the things that you may be influenced to do.
When faced with a difficult situation, pause and know that you are responsible with your actions. If you can live with the outcome, that is all that matters.
The rape in Steubenville exemplifies this perfectly.
Star students and athletes sold their souls to a social life that tested all moral upbringings.
They let their immature interests get stained with lust and greed brought on by their social surroundings, and we are left with another story of teens blaming social activities and not taking personal responsibility for their actions.