A LEADING child psychologist says bad behaviour from teenagers only appears to have worsened, but in reality it has always been a problem.
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said defiant actions of teens has always existed, but social media has put a spotlight on the issue, which other generations never experienced.
Social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook are used in the moment says Dr Carr-Gregg, allowing teenagers to record "impulsive" choices that are normally "heavily influenced" by peers.
"The behaviour has always been there, but teenagers have now been given a platform on social media to show it to everyone," Dr Carr-Gregg said.
"The consequences of the behaviour are more permanent. Young people can just film themselves making poor choices and broadcast that for everyone to see and it will always been there."
A bitter school rivalry usually confined to the sporting field has recently spilled over onto social media, resulting in the mass suspension of students in Wagga.
The suspended students, of Kildare Catholic College, were involved in an incident following their Carroll Cup victory against Mater Dei Catholic College.
A video of the incident, which was recorded at a private event, was widely shared on social media.
Dr Carr-Gregg said schools need to build a sense of belonging for its students, while also keeping them in check otherwise teenagers will cross the line.
"There is a sense of belonging for students and sometimes that goes too far and that's what I suspect in this case," he said.
"We should be giving students a sense of belonging, but they need to keep that in perspective and the sanctions in place will provide that to them."
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Dr Carr-Gregg said the only tools people could utilise are cyber safety education and good laws.
"When teenagers breach the norms they are then met with consequences. And serious consequences give them time to reflect," he said.
Dr Carr-Gregg said the impulsive, poor decisions made by teenage boys are a unique characteristic of their brain, which are often unable to predict.
He said their brains are not fully develop until their mid-20s, so consequences for their actions will teach them what behaviours are - and are not - accepted.
"It is unsurprising that young people would do stupid things," he said. "But, you cannot make a teenage brain develop quicker than it is."
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