What drives us to record ourselves and post it online? - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Why do we record ourselves?

Illegal activity, shocking shots and embarrassing moments: What drives us to record or photograph every silly move we make and post it online?

If you go on YouTube, it doesn't take long to find something outrageous. Recordings that, if in the right hands, could get someone in trouble.

But, what goes through our heads when we decide to hit the record button?

There are multiple examples of brutal, bloody fights recorded and posted on the internet, like one that shows two girls beating up a man with disabilities.

"I told her to leave me alone, she's 15 and I said, 'baby leave me alone,'" said the man known as Cool Breeze, the victim in the fight. It happened in July of 2012.

And there's a video of two teenage girls who go at it in Butler County, Missouri. You can even hear what sounds like a parent cheering them on.

There's the video of a fight at a skate park in which the individual involved even makes a rude gesture towards the camera.

We asked him if he would like to do an interview about his decision to post the video that could get him trouble with the law. He declined.

Parents like Andrea Smith can't understand why these videos are made in the first place.

"What were they thinking? I don't know - they weren't thinking," said Smith. "I think it is too easy for any of it."

She just discovered her daughter's Facebook friends had posted some pictures.

"I see these pictures of a couple of boys rolling what appears to be marijuana or blunts and they announced it to everybody on Facebook," said Smith.

The teens even posted their names and made reference in comments to rolling blunts.

"I confronted my daughter about it, and then immediately blocked or deleted him," said Smith.

Investigators say the online world of pictures and video has opened up a whole new world of evidence.

If they catch it under the right circumstances, police say it could get you in serious trouble.

Several adults and juveniles did face charges in connection with those fights and beatings in the videos mentioned above.

Detective Scott Phelps with the Poplar Bluff, Missouri police department tells us they've got a child pornography case pending where the suspect took video of the victim performing sexual acts.

Investigators call it a classic power trip, but there is a lighter side.

Alexi Reid has dozens of videos posted on his YouTube account. He says sometimes you just have to show everyone.

"I don't think I'm supposed to do this," said Reid. "I just think it's cool situations that you want to get on camera. I also post a lot of videos of my band, Upon October's End."

He admits it's so fast and easy, but you can forget to check yourself.

"I probably should not have posted me driving past the construction site," said Reid. "With the younger generations, I don't think they have a filter, so that's not really good!"

Psychologist, Dr. Ken Callis says for some, it is a wish fulfillment or fantasy.

Social media brings out a side of people they won't necessarily show in person.

Callis says there is a true chemical rush of adrenaline involved, but often people have a change of heart when confronted with the consequences.

Cell phone providers say if you go online and set up controls, you can control what your kids snap, record, and post. You can even turn the phone off at certain times.

Call your service provider to find out how you can set it up to specifically protect your kids.

Online:

Smart controls from AT&T

Usage controls from Verizon

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