Social behaviour is a set of actions executed by individuals of the same species when they interact with each other. Humans and animals both engage in social behavior; social interaction can be verbal and nonverbal. Some examples of human social behaviour are: watching sports together, teaching, religious rituals, exchanging nonverbal signals (like smiles or frowns), snubbing or “putting down” another person, singing or making music together, offering reassurance or consolation, conversation, flirting and any act of cooperation between individuals.
Social behaviours can be friendly, mutualistic, aggressive, altruistic and equally antagonistic. Our social behaviors are interpreted in different social scenarios which is purely depended on the social interactions. But it’s imperative not to conflate social behavior, which is neutral with respect to the nature of the social interactions.
The human social behavior has typically been perceived as a changing of behaviors which is strictly bonded with the situation. There was time when these social behaviors were not publicized but now with the advent of electronic media, people and their life events and happenings along with their attitudes are exposed to an extent that was not exposed earlier.
It is evident from existing literature that new media technologies have grave impact on the social interaction among masses; as the talk shows, breaking news and post mortem of every single headline on the name of critical analyses and many other ways. On the other hand, new media technologies can assist in increasing interaction amongst families by bringing generations and family members together. As a result, it can help to bridge generational and digital divides. Novel situations and information presented through electronic media has formed interactions that are completely new to people. A political leader could no longer tailor a speech to just one audience, for their speech would be translated and heard by anyone through the media. People can no longer play drastically different roles when put in different situations, because the situations overlap more as information is more readily available. Communication flows more quickly and fluidly through media, causing behavior to merge accordingly.
Media has also been shown to have an impact on promoting different types of social behaviours, such as pro-social and aggressive behavior. Violence publicized through the media has led to more aggressive behavior to its viewers, though it was not meant for. Our social behaviors are trimmed, personalized, sophisticated, resilient and socio-culturally oriented by the time. These behaviors can be either positive or negative but they are developed and nurtured on the lines; any society breathes on. The fast growing usage of social networks including Facebook, Instagram, twitter, snapchat etc. have filled the life of common man with more complexes and frustration. The race to supersede others and a sharp sense of jealousy is encouraged and shaped social behaviour being a part of specific community. The situation is getting worsen that any happening having no spice badly fail to capture the attention of audience , conversely any agitating, and aggressive happening containing lots of sympathy not only attracts the audience but also unlimited tags, likes, retweets made that man who posted it famous by making that video/picture viral. This is a hazardous situation for construction of our social behaviors which are structured, off course for violence.
The change in familial relationships cannot be unheeded while discussing the formation of social behaviours towards violence. These relationships are chosen or not, they involve variable levels of commitment including sense of obligation. This alteration in familial relationships, alongside the rise of individualisation, family members spending less time together, combined with a change in daily routines, has led to the emergence of the household as a different entity from the family.
Aggression is an important social behaviour that can have both negative consequences (in a social interaction) and adaptive consequences (adaptive in humans for survival). There are many differences in aggressive behaviour, and violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. Occurring in public and private places, it has many forms, ranging from domestic and intimate partner violence to sexual harassment and assault, trafficking, sexual violence and gender-related killing.
There is another unnoticed aspect of violence which has stealthily penetrated in our lives and formed a major part in the development of social behaviours too. It is an investment to the future as well. A study reveals that the average child watches over three hours of television every day, and these programs contain both physical and nonphysical aggression at the rate of about three violent acts per minute, the amount, intensity, and graphic nature of the violence that children view continues to escalate every year. At the same time, children are also exposed to violence in movies and video games, as well as in popular music and music videos that include violent lyrics and imagery. There is a question that why a male child has always been presented by a handgun and video game instead of some productive gift like books etc. which may well shape the positive social behaviour in him.
Pakistan has several laws and policies against various forms of violence. Challenges remain insufficient; however in implementing these measures. Many women still lack access to free or affordable essential services in sectors such as health, police, justice and social support to ensure their safety, protection and recovery. To prevent the cycle of violence from beginning, we must reduce exposure to violence, particularly among children. But still a lot is required to be done effectively to eliminate violence in a sustainable way. Because violence is watered by social behaviours and their acceptance in the society. We need to help people control their emotions. We need to better teach children to think about how they are feeling, to consider the sources of their negative emotions, and to learn ways to respond to them that do not involve in structuring a negative social behaviour.
The Writter is a freelance contributor