By The Chariot Staff
Through the progression of modern technology, society has become much more dependent on social media for information, news and daily updates. Despite the resourcefulness and ease at which you can receive and share information, media platforms are often breeding grounds for misinformation and rumors. Many repost content without even batting an eye; if the information is unreliable or untrue, this can cause people to become misinformed and unnecessarily distressed.
Due to the internet’s wide reach, one share can jeopardize the privacy and opportunities of students’ lives. More than ever, schools and administrators have been focusing on the importance of our digital footprint, since it can impact anything from our peers to our own lives. A harmful digital footprint can even impact job offers and college acceptances. New Hyde Park frequently emphasizes the precautions of using social media platforms to its underclassmen in digital footprint workshops. From learning to identify false information to understanding the importance of their online actions, students are taught to be responsible with technology.
However, despite efforts by the school, students still often fall into online fights, rumors and discourse. On a larger scale, world-wide controversies improperly shared on certain platforms instigate political battles, cyber bullying and futile fights among classmates. On a more local scale, New Hyde Park Memorial directly saw the detrimental effects of fear mongering on the internet when students spread false claims about a shooting threat that was addressed over a month ago (see article “Social Media’s Role on School Threats”).
Source by Shadia Zayer
Information that is spread online can reach a larger audience very quickly.
Alternatively, many people question whether you can truly blame the students for their gullibility, due to the rapidness and realistic nature of the information that is spread. People are often pressured to listen to the crowd, especially when everyone is reposting and sharing urgent information. When seemingly truthful and scary threats are posted on social media, which is accessible to the majority of students, it understandably induces pandemonium and hysteria among the school population.
Nevertheless, it is important for information to be double checked and always questioned before being fully shared. Additionally, transparency between administrators and students is necessary to prevent dangerously harmful rumors. Even though it is impossible to stop all misinformation from spreading, NHP should step in and be ready to correct any wrongful stories from impacting the community rather than just teaching students to fact check alone.
With the addition of numerous new, independent student Instagram accounts that are utilizing the school name to highlight student trends, there have been several indecent and inappropriate posts that instigate cyberbullying. People often forget the important lesson of watching your digital footprint when hidden behind the screen, which may call for school intervention.
Although we do not support censorship and over-monitoring of students’ online activity, it is evident that rumors and posts that violate the privacy or well being of students should be responded to when reported to the authorities.