The Dos and Don'ts of Social Media at Lawrenceville

Bunny Henault-Bassett ’26 in Features | December 9, 2022

In 2022, social media has a large role in everyday life. Its  great impact on society changes the ways people interact with each other and adds many unwritten rules that society now follows. Especially in high school, students’ lives can be influenced by their desire to be active social media users. Their drive to check social media and post frequently is often influenced by their desire to seem “cool” to others. They post their best moments to appear glamorous, and they follow many accounts for  more knowledge of social happenings. However, social media has both good and bad sides. 
The unwritten rules that were previously mentioned can be changed for different demographics. What is appropriate to post for a 30-year-old is not always what is okay to post for a high schooler. Most high schoolers are under the age of 18, so, legally, they would not be able to post some things. High schoolers can post pictures or videos with friends and family with proper consent from everyone featured, photos or videos of themselves that would not make anyone feel uncomfortable, and photos of other things like sunsets. People should not post anything that is offensive or harmful to viewers. That being said, social media is a place to express yourself. If you feel comfortable posting something knowing that it can be viewed by the public, then do. Just make sure it follows societal norms. 
When it comes to social media, consent is a crucial and an often disregarded topic. If you are going out with your friends and take a picture of them, you must get every person’s consent to post it online and to take it in the first place. If you take a picture of someone without consent, you should definitely not post it. This is of utmost importance because a photo posted of someone without their consent is a violation of their privacy. People may also not feel comfortable being posted online for practically the whole world to see. Lawrenceville has rules stopping students from taking pictures of others without their permission, so it is important to follow them. However, if you are going to a Taylor Swift concert and video her performing, it is okay to post that without asking her. 
At Lawrenceville, social media plays many roles. The school itself has many accounts that keep us informed on events taking place, achievements by students, and other important updates. Furthermore, as Lawrenceville is a school with students from many states and countries across the world, social media can keep us connected with our friends while far apart on breaks. Lawrenceville is also a very small and close community, so social media is a driving force in the spreading of information between students, which oftentimes includes rumors. The rumor mill, which would still be bad without technology, is worsened by social media. 
Social media can have different effects on every user. Some people appreciate and feel more socially connected because they are able to check in on people in an easily accessible way. However, social media should not be a substitute for real life interactions. Additionally, social media can have an impact on a user's mental health. Users will see people post heavily edited photos of themselves and think that this should be their ideal body, which can worsen or lead to the development of a negative body image. People can also develop anxiety from the pressure to be active on social media or from the fear of missing out  after seeing friends post together without them. Overall, social media has many pros and cons, and as long as users learn how to use these platforms  in a responsible way, it is a great way for people to connect with each other in this new digital era.