The Impact of #SocialMedia

Kylie McKinney, Reporter

Social media is one of the most popular aspects of everyday life in the 21st century. Whether it be for school, work, or general entertainment, the internet has become an essential to most, leaving many to get a little too comfortable with the popular platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and so many more.  

Due to this popular societal phenomenon of sharing every personal and non-personal opinion or experience, the public, especially teenagers and young adults, tend to speak and behave in a more comfortable portrayal. This causes many people to not consider what they do or say and how it will affect someone physical, mentally, or emotionally.  

A majority of the younger generation are not quite aware of how their interactions with social media may impact their future careers, relationships, and overall opportunities. The statement related to social media of “it never goes away” is cliché but is as close to the truth as something can be. Anything said, commented, or posted, is on the internet forever whether you delete it, smash your phone with a hammer, or move to the other side of the world.  

There have been many instances where someone’s social media background completely ruined their possibilities. This has clearly been seen in a situation where Harvard decided to rescind the admission of 10 students due to their Facebook messages.  

In 2017, one of the most competitive ivy league schools in America experienced firsthand the toxicity of social media when 10 admitted students in the class of 2021, were rescinded due to a group that exchanged racist and sexually offensive messages. The group contained slurs and images that regarded pedophilia as well as other vicious themes. 

Although the acts were considered small, they were enough to have them rescinded from their original admissions, no matter how beneficial their intelligence may have been to the prestigious university.  

Granted these situations are common within the student community, destroyed reputations due to social media are common in many different communities, such as athletes. For example, the leaked images of the Wisconsin Volleyball Team, completely outraged fans and supporters, causing the team to lose its positive reputation in a drastic downward spiral.  

In 2022, nude pictures and videos supposedly belonging to the team were leaked which caused many of the members involved to be suspended from the team, as well as the team as a whole to tarnish regarding physical and mental performance due to the lack of support as well as players.  

Whether the verbal or physical actions over social media are big or small, the internet is forever and can be tracked down to just one sly comment or post that could completely ruin current and future opportunities. It is always important to be aware and cautious when partaking in social media in order to upkeep personal reputation and self-esteem.