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As of late, we have seen viral videos of verbally abusive people hurling vulgarities and threatening physical harm – one towards a nasi lemak seller who asked him where his face mask was, and the other ranting at being fined by the police for not wearing one. Has social media become outlets for letting out steam even though one is in the wrong and to seek publicity in the form of likes, views, followers, etc.?

Most importantly, what message is this imparting to young people, especially children? That it’s cool to swear, curse and threaten people? That one can do whatever, no matter how wrong, to gain popularity? Sadly, we are seeing more people purposely doing and saying silly things in front of the camera. We are also seeing many kids and teenagers throwing tantrums and lash out on their parents over whatever frustrations they may be experiencing.

As a society, it’s about time we paid due attention to why people are doing this. Even a clip featuring people doing crazy stunts for laughs may be nothing to us, but it can give our kids the wrong idea – the idea to purposely do weird and crazy things to seek people’s acceptance and approval. No thanks to these media which we get online, our kids are also getting the wrong impression of life, and how they should be loved and treated. They might be comparing the parenting that they are receiving from us with what other people are getting from their parents – hence pent-up anger if it does not conform to how they want to be treated themselves.

The result? Parents are blamed for being parents. The kids kick up a fuss because they are frustrated with how they are being treated, and worse, may isolate themselves from us and seek solace from other people. Whatever they deem that they’re not getting from their parents, they seek from others. Would you be proud seeing your own kids in a scenario like this? If your answer is a strong and emphatic N-O, let’s start imparting the right kind of values in our kids so that they understand and fully appreciate that every family is different, and that whatever we are doing for them and giving to them is already to the very best of our capabilities as parents!