Social Media has an Impact


Maren Benz, Reporter

Social media is a big part of teenagers’ lives today. Any violent, negative, or reckless posts can cause someone to lose their future. Some people don’t realize the consequences of what they are putting out for the world to see. Colleges and businesses conduct social media screenings on their employees/students to make sure they are maintaining a good image.
Director of Investigations at Validity Screening Solutions, Amy Benz, shares what social media screenings are and how they are used.
A social media screening is, “a review of a person’s social media accounts to scan for posts, likes, or shares, involving threats, racism, violence, drug/alcohol use, harassment and more” said Benz.
Social media screenings are done to make sure that a college or business has students or employees that are putting off the image that they want.
“A social media screening covers most of the main apps like, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, as well as news sources and blogs,” said Benz.
Even though a social media screening can not see private accounts, “friends” can always screenshot or share your posts. You can lose jobs, scholarships, and more just from one social media post that your friends might have posted on their account.
Senior Tamia Schiele, who is involved in cheer, Student Senate, and French club, shares a time when she almost lost her job because of a social media post made by someone else.
“I actually got in trouble at work for a Tik Tok where I said something negative about a manager. I won’t get into details, but the post wasn’t on my account, and I never considered the consequences. I almost lost my job from something that happened outside of work and wasn’t on my account. I was upset at first but I completely understand why I got in trouble,” said Schiele.
Many things could get people in trouble that were posted on social media, whether it was posted by the person or a friend. Anything posted on social media can have severe consequences on a person’s future. Even posts from the past can get brought back up in social media screenings that could cause a job or scholarship to be lost.
Another negative thing that could have severe consequences is bullying. Counselor Bethany Sylvester tells us how she feels about cyber bullying.
“Social media has allowed people to say things that are hurtful without as many of the consequences attached because they are more able to hide,” said Sylvester.
People can now write things and cover it up by deleting a post or a message after the person has seen it, just to keep hidden and the person is not able to do anything about it. Even though a person might delete things, there are many ways that old posts or messages can get brought up, especially if the person that it was sent to took a screenshot.
“Generally college students, and anyone applying to a college/university or applying for employment [are affected by social media screenings],” said Benz.
Social media screenings could cause someone that has worked their entire life to get a scholarship to lose it because of a post they made several years ago. It does not matter how long ago the negative post was made, it can still have big consequences attached.
Schiele explains what she thinks about bullying by showing that intention matters.
“Bullying has evolved and is more than what it used to be years ago. To add to that, bullying is all about intention. For example you post a bad picture of your friend on accident, that wouldn’t be bullying. On the other hand if you post a picture like that with the intention of making your friend mad, that would be bullying,” said Schiele.
Bullying has grown over the years, and many people are struggling every day because someone is constantly tearing them down. People have to be careful what is said because it is hard to know what a person is going through, and that one mean comment could ruin a person’s day. Be mindful of what you are posting and like Schiele said, it is all about intention.
“I think students should be aware of their footprints and what can happen with what they post. For example, anyone can screenshot a post and share it with the world, and those posts are easy to be brought up, because they are lying out on the internet forever” says Sylvester.
Footprints are a big reason for why bullying is found. What someone posts can stay on the internet forever and come back when an important situation arises.
“What you post on social media can have a direct effect on the rest of your life,” said Benz.
A person can lose everything they have worked for and all of their opportunities just because they were joking around with their friends. If there is even the slightest bit of doubt when posting something, then it is most likely not a good idea to post.
“I would say students need to do their research on the consequences of what they post, and how dangerous it can be and to constantly think to themselves how this post could impact them in the future,” said Sylvester.
Not only can posts get a person in trouble they could be dangerous and affect their safety. It is never a good idea to post private information on the internet, even if it is a private account, because people can take pictures and it can get anywhere on the internet. It is good to think about how this could come back in the future and not just about how cool it is to post it.
Schiele explains what apps she thinks are prone to negative things being posted or said, “With Tik Tok I feel like people will do or say anything to get a viral video. On Snapchat, the messages can disappear and you can delete or remove any of your messages so this makes it easier to alter a conversation,” said Schiele.
Tik Tok has grown a lot recently, and Tik Tok is used every day by a lot of teenagers. This is why social media screenings have just recently added Tik Tok to the list of apps that are scanned. It is good to be aware that it can be funny in the moment but it could actually be very impactful.
Always remember that people are constantly able to see a person’s posts on social media and bring them back up. Always think about what is being posted before it is out for the world to see. Like Benz, Sylvester, and Schiele all mentioned, it is very important to be mindful of what is being shared.