Social media influencing crime - Tarrus Riley

January 31, 2018
Tarrus Riley

Although aggression is one of the factors contributing to the high level of crime affecting Jamaica, Tarrus Riley believes that competition and the need to live a certain life, particularly for social media, have led many to a life of crime.

The entertainer made the point during a discussion on crime at the University of the West Indies, Mona, last Friday night.

Dubbed 'A conversation on crime and the rude boy with Tarrus Riley', the discussion took on many issues as the audience sought to pinpoint a reason for the country's inability to get a grip on crime. Riley, pointing out that things have got out of control since the emergence of social media, expressed that young people are so fascinated with living an impressive life for the 'gram' (social media) that they are willing to do just about anything.

"Me a reason wid me bredren wah day, and him say him notice how everybody deh pan social media a pretend. Yuh bredren next door, yuh know say him hungry, but him deh pan Facebook a say, 'yow man, I'm on the beach in my boat. I'm chilling,' But you deh deh a say, 'bredda, me know yuh hungry'. Me see some girl a pose up pan car a talk bout 'dis is how we living' and I'm like, 'yow, a me bredren car'," he said, explaining how much the need to be competitive contributes to youth making poor decisions.

"Wah dat do is make everybody look at everyone and a say me haffi extra because is a big competition. So, by any means necessary me haffi have it, haffi live da life deh too. It's all about the impression and the hype, so if it means me haffi do dis or do dat me a go dweet."

He added that although social media has it perks, it has also somehow caused people to care less about their fellow Jamaicans. That, he said, is also contributing to crime.

"We did always proud and swagging and full a ego, but not like dis. Yuh know how original Jamaica people look out fi people. di whole Jamaican meditation shift," he said. "Just check the history. once upon a time everybody say 'morning' to everybody, not so anymore. People nuh care anymore, and I think if we go back to caring we can change a lot."

Speaking of change, Tarrus Riley explained that it will take the collective effort of everyone to bring about a positive shift in the country's crime situation.

Riley pointed out that although entertainers have a voice and need to use it to better facilitate a level of conscious thought, individuals also have their part to play in assisting as well. Explaining that each person has a voice, Riley encouraged Jamaicans, to use theirs if they want to see things change.

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