A Cautionary Tale of Using Social Media

Jordyn is a Staff Writer.

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Social media has become a huge part of teenagers’ lives using platforms to be able to communicate with friends, share pictures, and be entertained are all positives that come with social media. Being able to learn and create music, art, games, and education videos through social media allows creativity and uniqueness to show in someone who makes an account on one of these platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. 

With positives, there can be negatives that come along with social media. Cyberbullying is a way someone can be pushed around that takes place over the digital world whether it’s through social media, text messages, or phone calls. Posting something on your account that you find funny can be seen entirely differently by someone with sensitive feelings. 

Social media has become a breeding ground for random and sometimes anonymous bullying. With research from StopBullying.gov students, aged 12-18, 15% of them have experienced cyberbullying. While it might seem like harmless fun posting rude comments on their posts, threatening messages, and creating false accounts to ruin someone’s image or reputation. 

So why not just block the person from your social media? This may work for the person being bullied, but the internet is a vast place that seems to be endless and something that’s posted on one page can go to another allowing more people to see it. 

What can parents do to prevent cyberbullying? Monitoring your child’s social media accounts can be a quick way to catch possible harassment, sexual content, or threatening messages. Staying up to date with slang and the popular apps can help you better understand what your child is being exposed to as well as keep you closer to your child having a connection through social media. 

Teachers spend a lot of time with their students and they may notice small subtle changes in students’ behavior so it would never hurt to pull them aside if you have concerns for them. Behavior changes might happen from being withdrawn from social circles that they enjoyed in the past, talking less, excluding themselves, or being excluded, and having an angry reaction to their device can also be a sign of cyberbullying.

Being aware of cyberbullying can help prevent this epidemic. One precaution I’m taking is before posting something on my social media account I consider whether or not someone’s feelings might take offense to what I post. This helps me avoid any unintentional form of cyberbullying. With this I hope, we can make the digital world a better and happier place for everyone to enjoy.