Social media spiral

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, February 22, 2018

A young adult was recently arrested because of posts put on social media websites, and I think what confuses me the most is the thought that they wouldn’t get caught.

Social media has consequences. I wish I could get on a loudspeaker at schools and repeat this over and over again.

The point to social media, at least how I understood it, was a way to communicate what was happening in your daily life with friends. When I first got a MySpace account, I used it to talk to friends after school, because I didn’t have a cell phone at the time.

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Obviously, social media has evolved since the days of MySpace and Blogger, but it has changed into something I could never have imagined. It has really changed for those still in grade school.

Social media has morphed into a place where anything goes, and discretion is thrown to the side. Now, Twitter posts go viral daily, and those viral posts normally aren’t something most people want to see on the internet.

Scrolling on Twitter is like looking at a potential rap sheet.

Possession of marijuana.

Underage drinking.

Contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Intent to distribute.

It baffles me that no one thinks these things can implicate them, and I think that’s from a lack of educating people about how to conduct themselves online.

I get that navigating social media is still fairly new, but it’s growing at such a rapid pace, and no one is the wiser.

People still don’t understand that once something goes online, it is there forever. According to a Pew Research Center study a large percentage of teens share personal information online. This includes school names, addresses, phone numbers and emails. This is incredibly unsafe, and I don’t see much happening to educate the masses.

Parent intervention might help the problem. I know it’s supposedly an important thing to trust your children and respect their privacy, but I think people are taking that to mean a lack of rules and boundaries.

I’m glad that as an adolescent I had my parents to guide me when I didn’t know any better. At the time I wasn’t. I felt like I didn’t have privacy, and I felt angry, but now I can be grateful that my parents cared enough to step in and help.

Kellie Lagoy is a reporter for the Suffolk News-Herald. She can be reached at 757.934.9616 or at kellie.lagoy@
suffolknewsherald.com.