Exploitation is at its finest nowadays.

We often don’t think twice about the videos and images we share and comment on once they’re posted. We get our laughs, get our views, likes, or follows and afterwards carry on as if nothing questionable happened.

But what if it’s YOUR  image? Your picture might be floating around on the internet, being shared by complete strangers with captions and edits for shock or laughs. But we never think that it could be us on the other side of the screen being the subject of everyone’s ridicule.

The media and the advancement of technology, has allowed us to become attention seeking, narcissistic and less empathetic people as a whole, hiding behind the anonymity it provides and using the power it gives to comment however we choose without much confrontation.

I remember seeing someone post a video of a women getting decapitated with a caption that said “WTF (what the f**k).” After a view, a few comments, we do not think or even wonder what led to that point and the events that followed after the horrific display. What if the woman had a family and friends? Were the men who committed the act even arrested?

I cringed at the video of two men who appeared to be African tied up and burned alive and afterwards didn’t want to view let alone share such content.

They say violence arouses humans just as much as sex does. Which doesn’t make me wonder why we’re drawn to it. Some may enjoy doing it and some may get a kick out of watching it. It is that interaction of inflicting or witnessing either pleasure or pain that can determine us to be less or more human.

But with so many ways to interact with a human being without physical contact, we can create a persona or communicate our true behavior without confrontation —– at least not immediate confrontation. I see more and more videos of people recording fights, sharing killings, and other displays of violence on the internet. And although their captions may read “This is sad” or “That’s messed up,” I don’t believe it’s to indicate some type of empathy or express the disdain for violence. Because no action followed indicates such. We continue to live our lives until we see something else we’re inclined to share.

Such videos like the recording of the assailant known as Sharkeisha who physically assaulted another young girl, are shared as memes to poke fun at the beating. Let’s not pretend that it wasn’t a set up from the start.

More than likely, videos of fights nowadays are purposely created for views and to hopefully be posted on sites such as WorldStarHipHop. Thousands of pictures and videos are created and shared, but do they violate a person’s human rights?

Do they assault a person’s privacy, image, and reputation? Have we reduced ourselves to exchanging videos and pictures for views, likes, and follows?

It seems that’s the currency for social media. Regardless of the content, lack of substance, or questionable display captured, more people are participating in this act without much consequence.

Even though censorship on the internet is in high disagreeance and may violate our freedom of expression and/or speech, how much should we as contributors NOT be responsible for? Are we completely innocent as standwatchers and those that do it all in “good fun?” I personally believe that there should be some limitation, but where those lines are drawn are up for discussion.

Videos that shocked America like the killing of Chicago high school student, Derrion Albert, where students ran the streets assaulting each other until death should’ve been a red flag. But now people are creating events like these on purpose for media currency when lives, livelihood and reputations are at stake.

And we view and shake our heads as these matters persist without much consequence. A picture circulated Facebook of a young toddler being sexually assaulted orally popped up in my news feed. I was not only disgusted but felt the person who posted that pic also did the assault, and should be identified and thrown in prison for the rest of his life.

But how can we hold ANYONE accountable when we’re so busy sharing and indirectly participating in the assault of a human being? Are laughs and outbursts of shock really worth it? Is the number or shares, likes, follows, or views really worth someone’s reputation or life? We brand ourselves and exploit ourselves, showing each other how less human we can be.

And ironically question where the world is coming to.

But you determine its destination.