Deleted, but dangerous


Student on social media.

In light of RB’s annual Digital Citizenship Day, it is important to know how to be safe online. Social media seems to be our future. Today, schools and jobs have the ability to use what someone has posted when considering accepting someone. Anything someone posts on the internet can follow them forever.

Teachers like Nicholas Curby and Bridget Wilmot use social media like Twitter and other popular apps. Teachers have to watch what they post and who they let follow them as well.

“Everything we post becomes part of our digital tattoo. It is very hard to erase information once it is shared,” said Wilmot, English teacher at RB.

Many students do not realize what they post on the internet can be viewed by more people than they expect. Retweeting and watching someone’s Snapchat story are ways you can know who is seeing your posts. Taking screenshots of text messages and other posts can be harmful to the poster’s future if what is saved are harmful or inappropriate.

Multiple social media sites are blocked at RB and students have been wondering why.

“We have had several student incidents involving social media that required our intervention and even police intervention.  If we were to allow students to access social media sites there could be repercussions for the school because the school network was used as a conduit to access those sites,” said technology director Mike Connors.

In other words, if an incident were to occur during school hours on social media between students, the school would be partially accountable for allowing the access to those websites.

Connors also mentions how the IT department is required to manage the RB related social media. The IT department does not limit their social media due to that reason. At RB, social media is blocked as a category in our firewall. Even websites like Pinterest are considered a social media website.

“Social media leads to a lot of bullying and conflict between students which results in a lot of time in the dean’s office. That’s the majority of issues that they deal with,” said Principal Kristin Smetana.

Aside from students being cautious on social media, this also applies to teachers.

“I let my former students follow me. I have to be careful about what I post because of my current students,” said Curby, math teacher at RB.

Curby is also careful when posting on social media since he lets his former students follow him. Having social media comes with a lot of responsibilities for students and teachers.

“The internet is a public place where anything you post can be saved and shared with the world, even if you think what you are posting is private. My rule is to only post things that I would be okay with anyone in the world seeing or knowing,” said Wilmot.
Most social media has the option to go private on an account so a user has control over who directly sees what they post on their pages. Just because an account is private, does not mean their life is.