To tweet or Not to tweet, that is the question

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With the rise of social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, teenagers all across Canyon Lake are able to communicate with each other within a matter of milliseconds. Neighbors, friends and family are all readily accessible, waiting at the click of a mouse, a tap on the screen, a request to accept; the spectrum of possibilities is unlimited.

Thanks to social media, the world has never been more connected, but not without a price. It is important to keep in mind the purpose of what you post and to be wary of others’ perspectives when it comes to using social media. Of course, this is not to say that social media lacks the capacity to spread good vibes and network with others.

Everyday, there are millions of users being contacted by people with great opportunities simply because of a Facebook post or a tweet about an accomplishment. For instance, Courtney Sharkey, a resident from Canyon Lake, has golfed for the past fourteen years and is now ranked 65 in the nation for girls graduating in 2017.

Courtney posts her successes in countless tournaments on her Instagram page, granting new opportunities in her golf career. She says that “it’s [had]a positive impact on [her]life,” allowing her to stay connected with her friends, family, and coaches, as well as meeting girls her age and connecting with them. “As a girl playing a sport brought up by the male gender, it was always hard for me to find other girls my age with the same passion as me,” she says.

There are countless experiences similar to Sharkey’s. Ambitious individuals use Facebook and Twitter to advertise and publicize their valuable products as a way to expand their businesses. Teachers collaborate with their colleagues from different countries to gain new perspectives and synthesize different teaching methods for the classroom. On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind some possible consequences when using social media.

We always hear of those internet “trolls” who use social media to stir up trouble. Whether these people are adolescents themselves or an adult 3000 miles away, the risks they pose should be considered with the same caution we view any source of danger. As for us teens, we should also be wary of what we post on the internet. The saying, “what goes on the internet stays on the internet” has never been more applicable than today. When people say this quote, I think it should be taken both literally and figuratively.

Yes, we are able to get rid of an online post by clicking that “delete” button, but we’ve already had followers, friends and people that have had an image of who you are.

Chances are, getting rid of “bad” posts doesn’t mean replacing the image you’ve already built for yourself. At the same time, social media has grown to reinforce positivity among younger generations. As part of the generation that has witnessed the rise of social media, we are no strangers to the idea that “what goes online, stays online.” We were there when the terms “trolls,” was still used to describe those who pose a threat on the internet. And as a race who naturally opposes threats, we’ve constantly defended ourselves against such dangers. Hearing about these problems concerning social media will not prevent us from using it.

If we were swayed by the potential risks, then we wouldn’t be tweeting away nor posting the occasional Instagram picture. Why sky-dive if your parachute might not open, why try new foods if you might not like it, why meet new people if they might not like you?

There is so much that the world has to offer, and you just have to take that leap and embrace social media. In fact, I am willing to bet that anyone reading this knows about the pros and cons of social media, and they have chosen to move forward with the platform. Social media itself is becoming an integral part of our lives. And when used properly, it may grant us incredible opportunities. But it is crucial to keep in mind our vulnerability in regards to cyber-bullies.

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