Social Media and Students



Many will say that technology brought nothing but blessings to them. Others will say that it ruined their life. From MrBeast beginning an online campaign to plant 20 million trees, to the relentless bullying of trolls, the internet’s goodness will always be a gray area to most. More so, this nuance is now one of the main characteristics of newer generations, such as Generation Z and Generation Alpha. And it shows.

There was a recent trend that caused havoc on our school, Key West High School, some may be familiar with. It was known as the “Devious Lick Challenge.” For those who don’t know of it, the Challenge was a trend on TikTok that involved stealing objects from the school, mainly items from the bathroom. This list includes, but isn’t limited to, soap dispensers and whole toilets. Now, despite what some of you think, a good majority of students did not participate. If anything, most were annoyed at the trend because it caused the decision to lock most of the bathrooms during lunch. I do not blame them for this decision, but it made life a bit more difficult for my bladder. 

Fortunately, our bathrooms have now been unlocked, but social media is still an issue being dealt with. Last week, I got the chance to sit down and interview the principal on the matter. When asked how social media changes the way students react to everyday situations, he replied, “I met with all of the student officers just before Thanksgiving break, and I asked them the question about social media, and they said they think that kids post things on social media because they want to be liked. And so, it can have a positive influence [by making them] feel good, and then if they don’t get enough likes, they feel sad.” This statement is true in many ways. 

 As my psychology teacher, Mrs. Joanna Gray always says, “With the tribe we thrive, without the tribe we die.” This quote is meant to describe our primal drive to belong. Despite the fact that we are now raised in a modern society where we do not have to collectively fight for our survival (in a primitive sense), our minds still take every social interaction as a life or death situation. The way we live goes against almost every aspect of our evolution. Social media doesn’t make this fact any easier.

The internet is forever. Every online presence we make is permanent, so if you do something controversial, and it leaks to the internet, it follows you everywhere. It can keep colleges from accepting your application, keep you from securing a job, and ensure your isolation from others. I mean, just ask John Schnatter. Most people would agree that Cancel Culture (no matter the form) is one of their biggest fears. With the way the algorithm is, their isolation could be made more extreme. We must take this issue more seriously as the One Human Family that we worked so hard to become.

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