It was the social-media generation that instigated and carried out these acts. Is anyone really surprised that people who can't understand the rudeness inherent in texting while at the dinner table or posting their every boring thought and activity as a status update on their Facebook self-flagellation page can't be bothered giving a second thought to anything outside of themselves and their own impulsive desires? They live in a virtual parallel universe of their own construct, where everything revolves around them: their Twitter page, their Facebook page, their text messaging. If there's any lack of social cohesion, it's between their virtual world and reality.
This social-media element provides a new dimension to criminology's "broken windows theory" that suggests maintaining a sane environment helps prevent further crime and hooliganism. While hooligans have always existed, they previously had to locate other derelicts and the so-called "broken window" to exploit. But as we've now seen, these days the hooligans can issue their thug battle cry to each other on social media sites through the ends of their sticky fingers. This rapid mobilization is how the riots spread quickly from London to Liverpool, Leeds and beyond.
Social-media narcissism and the bestowing of every unearned desire: This is the new recipe for First World hooliganism. Obviously America is far from immune.
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