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To Post or Not To Post?

Staff and students shed light on cyber responsibility.

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To Post or Not To Post?

Alyah Craig, Aaron Jones, and Alyssa Griffith

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Technology: it’s everywhere. It’s one aspect of life students cannot seem to escape. Some people may see this as a good thing, others, not so much. Recent instances on social media have posed the question: do students use their cyber privileges for good?

While many know about ever-growing issues regarding cyber usage, some seem to think these problems reflect the people using this technology as a whole. In light of this, it is important to recognize everybody’s individual cyber responsibility.

“I see it as being a good citizen and recognizing that their citizenship includes digital interactions,” Media specialist Lori Riedel said. “It is also your social profile that is a part of your citizenship.”

Since new advancements are being made in every field involving technology, it is no wonder these achievements impact students on an ongoing basis. The importance of understanding how to use cyber rights correctly is no doubt a key to success in the upcoming years.

Freshman Jeffrey Laubscher agrees that cyber misuse could have a harmful effect on future opportunities.

“I think misusing technology like messing around on websites you shouldn’t be on and not doing your work could affect your college scholarships,” Laubscher said. “Since you won’t have as good of grades because you’re not paying attention, it could definitely have a negative effect on certain opportunities.”

Colleges and employers can also check your social media to get a judge of your character.

“Admissions counselors and employers all can check your digital footprint as easily as it is for you to post,” Computer Science teacher Angela Klein said. “This gives them an impression of your character as well as what skills and experiences you have. This can be good and this can be bad.”

With technology being a forefront in society, students are becoming more aware of how things they post online can affect them or others. However, when posting something in the heat of the moment, students may not think things through as much as they should be.

“When someone receives something there is a tendency to instantly react, so there are things that if they thought twice, they probably wouldn’t post,” Klein said.

Whether adolescents like it or not, technology surrounds them like never before. The quicker students learn the advantages and disadvantages of having certain cyber privileges, the better and more prepared they’ll be throughout their lifetime.

“The impact for your generation is very large,” Media specialist Christine Anderson said. “I think that making good responsible choices in all areas of cyber communication is important now. Even though you don’t know what your future is going to hold, there are people who will be looking back at everything you’re sharing or doing, basically the image you are projecting now will impact your future plans.”

When sharing something online, it is a lot harder to determine the emotion behind the comment. In person, there is tone of voice, facial expression and body language to discern sarcasm. When it is just text on a screen, it can be near impossible sometimes to determine the true meaning of something.

“In person, people can hear emotions in their voice and see their expressions, but online the reaction is framed by when they are seeing it and without clues of the emotions from the sender,” Klein said.

It’s not just teenagers who are being irresponsible, it is adults as well. They are learning about technology and the internet at the same time as teens.

“There are a lot of adults being irresponsible, and we don’t really necessarily set a good example,” Klein said. “Not all adults know how to use it properly any more than a teenager or an adolescent middle schooler does.”

Things that are posted online never really go away. With the ability to take screenshots and other online archiving tools, something that someone deletes can easily resurface and affect them.

“Instances where there is a bad breakups and ex’s have terrible pictures, and terrible information, that has been posted and transferred digitally, they can get sent out,” Klein said. “You have got to be careful at all times.”

It’s not just the contents of posts or pictures that can lead to harm. Pictures contain hidden identifiable information.

“Every time we send a picture you’ve got to be aware that with that picture comes information. It comes with where it was taken, what time it was taken, and what device it was taken with,” Klein said. “People who want to cause problems with social media can figure out a lot of things about you that you really don’t want them to know. Ninety-nine percent of the time that will not be a issue but there is always that one percent chance that it could be a issue.”

There can be a big risk when giving out personal information to companies over the internet, because there is almost no way to figure out what they are going to do with it.

“Question anytime you have to give personal information,” Klein said. “Whenever you sign up for something new ask yourself, what are they using this for? Do I really want to enter into this relationship that once I give this information I am no longer in control of it, they now have it, own it and can do whatever they want with it?”

As a whole, LHS is a fairly responsibl

e place when discussing cyber usage. The main issue resides in getting students to do what needs to be done at the moment: school work.

“It is mainly just people playing games on their computer rather than paying attention to the class or what is being taught,” sophomore Lauren Hiestand said. “The peo

ple that I see are just in their own little world and don’t care about what the teacher is saying.”

Despite this, some still think that LHS has a tendency to follow the rules of cyber responsibility.

“It’s easy to focus on that one misjudgement or bad choice, but I think that the majority of students and kids in general have good intentions,” Riedel said. “I just think that sometimes they forget that, even though someone can’t see you, what you’re typing has a permanent and lasting affect.”

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To Post or Not To Post?