Using Social Media Wisely

Abby Heinemeyer, Journalism Student

With the 2011/2012 school year wrapping up, it is important to evaluate what we have learned as a student body. I think one of the more valuable lessons that we learned was in reference to social media and becoming more responsible with our use of it.

This year, there have been numerous instances when our peers have posted something that they probably should have not have and then, like clockwork, are called down to the office the next day to face their punishment. Inappropriate use of social media web sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, has become one of the biggest crimes here at Bethel High School, but it is time to learn from our mistakes.

I can speak for a lot of people when I strongly advise all Bethel technology users to please be more conscientious of what you put online. Whether it is a picture or just a thought, if it is in anyway offensive towards the school or simply inappropriate, chances are that YOU WILL GET CAUGHT!

According to BHS vice principal, Gary Lawlor, some things that are put on social media websites, such as Twitter, need to be reprimanded. “It’s a tool where it is very open – people can say what they want. The problem is that what they say can also then go and fall under the bullying stature, which is out there. So it’s a fine line to try to let students know what’s free speech versus what falls under that realm, when you’re talking about school.”

Yes, we are teenagers. And with our raging hormones, we are going to say and do things that will not always fit into the strict mold of good behavior that adults have created for us. Everyone, at some point or another, is going to fall out of line and make bad choices. But when this occurs, we need to make a choice in how much, if any, exposure these moments become public.

According to athletic director, Jayme McGovern, there is a right decision. “As long as you can keep those moments private or between friends or behind closed doors, that’s one thing. But once you go the step further and you start publicizing it and posting about it or tweeting it or whatever it is, you invite other people in to see it and you create an image for yourself that may not always be a good image.”

We are all aware of how technology is changing the way that we interact with friends and even meet new people. According to media specialist Jessica Wismar, some of these people have control over our futures.  “The majority of recruiters, both college recruiters and job recruiters, they automatically do online searches.”

That’s right. Whether or not you get into your dream school or are hired for that amazing job depends on what can be dug up on your past. Do you want these people to see you toasting with that red solo cup or do you want them to find you talking about your amazing classes?

Ms. Wismar adds, “you almost need to think of social media as a living resume; it’s tracking your life, it’s showing who you are, and you want to make sure the person that you’re are showing is someone that you want other people to know.”

So the next time you log on, take a second and think about what you are about to post. Is that really what you want the world to see?


For more information on how to behave with social media, please visit: