Staff Members Share Opinions On Social Media
November 5, 2021
Social media and its effects on school are still being discovered. Many have different things to say about social media in general and its usage at school.
“Social media is the biggest negative at school,” Russell said. “I think that social media is by far the biggest distraction for students at school.”
Russell said that social media is a one-directional platform and not suited for conversations, but more suitable for shock value posts.
“Say a tweet,” Russell said, “you need to put your ideas out there, people can respond to it. But there’s so many that you can’t converse with all of them. They’re just responses. Sometimes their responses are just like thumbs up, sometimes their responses with a smiley face. And so, it doesn’t create any depth of discussion like when you have a discussion in person. In a true discussion, you can say something like, whatever your beliefs are, and then the other person would say what their beliefs are. And then you explain to them why and they explain to you why. And then you can either empathize with them and understand or you can disagree cordially and then separate. Social media lacks feeling and depth.”
Assistant Principal Wat Harden can see both the good and bad in social media. On one hand, Harden said that problems can come with altercations.
“That’s when the whole negative side of social media comes about,” Harden said, “because not every event in the building should necessarily be recorded and sent out. A common issue is just students feeling the need to record every single thing and then share it out, because then it gives one perspective one view of what’s going on here but that’s not necessarily always the case.”
However, Harden points out that that social media can be useful even if one-directional.
“We can keep parents and community members involved and up to date,” Harden said. “Whether football scores, volleyball scores, or senior events, we can get information out in real time. When I was growing up, you had to look at the newspaper, look at the news and so you had to rely on those forms of information, and as for social media you can immediately get up to date information.”
Dr. Winston McCowan, CTHS Principal, agrees that social media has its place.
“I know a majority of our students rely on social media a lot,” Dr. McCowan said. “And so, as a school administration we try to, when we want to get a message out, we use social media, we use Twitter, we use Facebook, we use Remind, we use all those different avenues because we know those are the platforms that students utilize the most.”
Dr. McCowan does, however, acknowledge that social media has downfalls that have negative impacts on our society.
“It’s a good place for rumors to spread,” Dr. McCowan said. “It’s a good place for people to talk negatively towards each other, and it causes problems with cyberbullying and things of that nature.”
Looking at the pros and cons of social media, school counselor Courtny Gregg said that she could see how social media could be used for academic purposes if it doesn’t become a problem or distraction.
“I think it can almost be an addiction for both students and adults,” Gregg said.
“Some of the freedoms that people take with it [social media], that maybe they wouldn’t in person. I think they feel anonymous behind a social media profile or screen and just say things that are unkind, more freely than they might, if a person was face to face so I see that side of it too.”
Avid teacher Carol Hatten thinks that phones are a real problem in the classroom when used incorrectly as they often are.
“I think that students should not have their cellphones in use for personal things at school,” Hatten said. “I think if they’re using their cell phones for academic things, I’m okay with that, but if you are disengaging from the learning to engage with your social media, you’re not using your school time wisely, and you’re missing out on instruction or you’re missing out on completing the assignments. And so, your social media should wait until you get out of school.”
The use of social media and cell phones in general has caused a decline in interaction between students, school librarian Mylie James said.
“I think there are times that it makes me really sad that the kids aren’t connecting with each other in person anymore,” James said. “When they’re sitting and eating lunch with their friends, they’re just on their phones. And so, I think it pulls some of our brain power. I think that social media can sometimes have negative influences on things like cyberbullying, rumor spreading, and putting other kids down because when you’re behind your device it’s a lot easier to say negative things than it would be for you to say to someone’s face.”
While social media has just as many good points as bad points, there is a time and place for it according to US History teacher Rachel Head.
“I feal like sometimes it [social media] is a distraction,” Head said. “In the classroom, I’ve been told that my room has excellent lighting for doing Tick Tocks, and while I appreciate the compliment on my room’s lighting, I don’t appreciate my class time being used for filming Tick Tocks.”