Social media influences school dynamics

The development of social media and its rising popularity has come with both negative and positive effects in and out of schools.
“Before, if you were having a face to face interaction, everything was qualitative. You used someone’s gestures or facial expressions, that sort of thing, to see how effective your message is,” said associate principal for student services Megan Licht. “Now if you go online, one of the ways that you gauge the effectiveness of your message is in the number of likes, favorites or retweets, and this is something that’s really different and unique about online interaction.”
In school, students have a common misconception that administration monitors social media accounts daily. According to Principal Dr. James Roscoe, the administration does not monitor social media, but they get most reports of misconduct from students coming in to staff themselves and reporting unsafe situations.
“I am most proud that our student body can feel safe to come forward to the administration,” Roscoe said.
When social media is being used inappropriately and is brought to administrators’ attention, the staff want the students to be held responsible for their actions, but also understand the impact that they have on someone else’s reputation, or even their own.
“The idea is always even if there is a consequence, there’s got to be some sort of intervention too,” said dean Linda Vecchie. “Educating kids involved in these kind of things is the most important part.”
Administrators and staff want their students to know that whatever is posted on social media is associated with them forever and can haunt them during the college and workplace application process.
“Once it is out, there is no do-over,” Licht said. “Colleges, universities, and jobs are able to look at anyone’s social media profile, and it can paint a distorted image just by a simple post.”
Not everything related to social media has negative effects. Educational uses of social media, such as teachers using Twitter to post updates and homework assignments is popular. Educational platforms, such as Schoology, are an emerging popular way to distribute school related materials.