Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Responsibility and social media go hand in hand
BY MIAH SHEPPERSON, 17, Freestyle Staff Writer
Social media has been a godsend. The potential to keep in touch with friends from far away places has never been more achievable, and the ability to be informed with breaking news every minute is a luxury people 20 years ago did not have.
Unfortunately, it has also corrupted morals and values of people to such a point that there are no limits anymore. One billion people have active accounts on Facebook, and 500 million active users have Twitter accounts, according to the home sites of Facebook and Twitter. With numbers like this, it is undeniable that social networks are bursting with racy and scandalous material.
Teenagers are to blame for some of this content -- content that could very well come back to haunt them in their future. This information is scary. Maybe previous generations did not possess the technology to track their bad behavior, but teenagers today seem to lack moral standards.
I have not seen much of the objectionable material on Facebook, probably because the adolescents are friends with their parents and relatives, but more so on Twitter.
I question the intellect my generation has when posting pictures of last night's party in tweets like, "Check this $%#@ out," with them having bloodshot eyes holding a red Solo cup.
Just because this person chooses not to post the picture on one social media site does not mean someone could not find the picture elsewhere, especially when the person's page is not private. The pictures of teenagers holding blunts, bottles of Jim Beam and Jack Daniels and posing with half-naked girls can be easily found with a quick search of their name.
Colleges and businesses have never been more interested in their potential students and employees. Dailytoreador.com states that 41 percent of law school admission officers check their applicants' Facebooks and about 37 percent check other social networks. The same site says that 20 percent of business schools look into their applicants' social networking life. Both statistics reveal the startling fact that more schools are checking in on their potential alumni.
I cannot understand the self-fulfillment my peers seem to get from posting jaw-dropping pictures of themselves clearly defying any authority figure or morals they once had. It is not cute or cool to post Tweets about oneself or post pictures that make others think they are the reason this nation is in trouble.
I finally realized the other day what Twitter is. The network revolves around following. I think teenagers realize this concept and believe the only way to be popular and get hundreds of followers is to do unethical things and talk about it a lot. I have seen hundreds of disgraceful photos of teenagers Tweeting things like, "This is what a good glove box is," with a baggy of marijuana and Marlboros in a glove compartment or the caption "It's almost gone:" under a photo of someone holding an empty bottle of Grey Goose vodka.
I do not think my peers realize the impact posting racy photos and Tweets will have on their future. I do not know if teenagers know they might not get into their dream college because they were shown in a picture posing holding Mike's Hard Lemonade with their middle finger up in nothing but their bra and underwear.
I do not believe adolescents know that this racy material can always be found, and that one day, when one of my fellow classmates holds a high position in the government, a picture could be leaked of him or her that he or she thought was gone forever. These situations happen all the time, and will continue to happen until teens become more responsible.