Social Media: A Word to the Wise

Kate Strunk, Social Media Editor

Last weekend, Center Grove completed a feat they had been working toward all year. Shattering records this past season, the team reached the state championship and came out ahead of the Westfield Shamrocks with a last minute interception to become back to back state champions. However, it’s not the historic win that’s making headlines this week.

After the game, A picture was posted by one of the team’s members on Snapchat. In the photo, a player appeared to have covered his face in a dark substance and placed a black towel on his head. Initially just shared on a Snapchat story, a screenshot of the image soon went viral, especially after being posted on a Center Grove Facebook page by a parent and making its way onto Tik Tok and Instagram. 

As the social media editor for the Trojaneer, I have lots of experience in the ways of online media. This situation has reminded us of how we need to take a step back and take a moment to think about what we are posting and why we post it.

There have been many guesses to the reason behind Saturday’s post. I’m not here to answer that question, but I am here to share a bit of insight into how this situation happens within the internet.

Social media has become a huge part of almost everyone’s day-to-day life (especially students). With so many things being posted every minute, it becomes hard to think about the consequences of every little post. Everything seems so inconsequential. Just little blips in an infinite abyss of photos and videos.

But they aren’t. As I’m sure every cyberbullying or digital citizenship class has told you, you cannot truly delete anything from the internet. It may seem a bit of an overused saying, but it’s true. The internet has become a vast database of our personal lives. With that comes the responsibility of making our image something we want others to see.

Current Center Grove students probably can’t remember a time without social media. I know I cannot. Growing up exposed to that environment normalizes a lot of the things that happen on social media. It’s no secret that social media can cause more harm than good occasionally. While it certainly has its benefits, it allows us to do things very quickly. It is a slippery slope from just goofing off with friends to doing something hurtful to someone else. 

In this digital age that we live in, it’s hard to stay away from social media’s temptations to be hurtful. What’s the harm in being hurtful when it’s through a screen, right? The presence of a screen makes it very easy to do something hurtful without evaluating the consequences. 

This week, as we look back on last weekend’s incident and look forward to the increasing amount of hurtful Center Grove instagram accounts posting photos of kids just for what they wear or how they look, let’s take a step back to think about the consequences of our actions online. Every time you are about to post something, be it a tweet, comment, feed post, or even an article, ask yourself one question: Could this post hurt someone?