Northwest Horizons

Social media has negative effects around Northwest

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Social media has negative effects around Northwest

A student uses Snapchat to find out what's going around school. Snapchat has become the culprit for spreading much false information.

A student uses Snapchat to find out what's going around school. Snapchat has become the culprit for spreading much false information.

A student uses Snapchat to find out what's going around school. Snapchat has become the culprit for spreading much false information.

A student uses Snapchat to find out what's going around school. Snapchat has become the culprit for spreading much false information.

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Social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter were originally created with the intent of making it easier for people to communicate. Today, this seems to have gone to the extreme.

In 2018, social media allows information to be spread faster and with a wider range than ever before. While these qualities have some clear benefits, they also bring with them some detriments.

“There are pros and cons (to the use of social media), of course,” principal Ralph Kitley said. “Sharing of information can be a good thing, but with social media and how quickly things escalate, (there is) almost a sense of hysteria.”

On Nov. 21, a video of two Northwest students using racial slurs and threatening language was released and spread through many social media platforms. Since then, Northwest has been receiving negative attention from news stations and students and parents all over Guilford County. Though the video has been repeatedly deleted, it still lives on in people’s minds.

“What you post on social media is out there forever,” English teacher Alex Wertz said. “People can’t unsee things.”

Less than a week later, on the night of Nov. 27, a screenshot of a Snapchat conversation between two students spread like wildfire throughout the Northwest student population. It mentioned a school shooting that would be occurring “sometime soon.” The next day, hundreds of students did not come to school in fear that the threat may be real.

“We were able to learn about the threat really quickly and we were able to determine it was not credible and where it came from,” Kitley said. “However, it blew up to the point that we had a few hundred absences (on Nov. 28).”

While it is good that because of social media, administration was able to see the threat, take action and ultimately find that it held no truth, there were still repercussions the next day when a significant percent of the student body was not present at school because they immediately believed what they had seen.

“I think that many of (my) peers aren’t careful with what they believe on the internet,” senior Dymond Sambucci-Brown said. “People just repost things without looking for any background or sources to confirm anything.”

This is true for millions of people beyond Northwest. “Fake news” is rapidly spread over social media platforms because people have begun to trust the first thing they see and do not look for multiple credible sources to backup the information they spread.

“Schools and parents should really focus on teaching their kids how to look for credible sources on the internet,” Sambucci-Brown said. “It’s really important for us to know that we should look for many other points of view that differ from the first post or thing we see.”

Whether you’re posting something inappropriate or reposting something that may not be true, there seems to be a problem with how teens are using social media without realizing the consequences it may have.

“Social media takes everything to a different level,” Kitley said.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Social media has negative effects around Northwest”

  1. Nicholas Dewberry on December 4th, 2018 8:40 am

    I really like this article, but I don’t feel like it’s telling the whole story. In pursuit of truth we recently had a discussion on the impacts of social media on teenagers and people in general. We listened to many people telling their stories, and I learned that social media has lots of positive effects – such as bringing people together and allowing them to communicate.

    Would it be possible for someone from horizons to publish an article about the positive impacts of social media? It would be a very interesting read, and a very intresting topic to cover.

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Social media has negative effects around Northwest