The pitfalls of social media were highlighted May 4 during Amherst track and field’s annual Good Choices Week.
With the help of Darrell Shumpert of The LCADA Way, team members were told how easy it can be to make bad choices online, such as bullying.
“It’s about making the right choice on social media and also building healthy face-to-face relationships,” said Shumpert. “Common sense leads to sound judgements on both fronts.”
He also warned of dangers posed by applications that hide online activity from parents and teachers, such as “calculator vaults,” which can make any app look like a basic phone calculator until a secret code is put in.
“Facebook is its own beast,” Schumpert said. “It’s doing a better job tracking harmful online activity but there’s only so much that can be done at this point. Kids have all these sneaky ways that pop up as fast as the last one is figured out. When Facebook was created it was for a healthy purpose. Now it’s been perverted by certain individuals and here we are wondering what’s out there half the time.”
Blake Stanley, a Steele senior, said he mostly avoids social media but has seen friends become consumed by it.
“People just get way too caught up in the whole thing,” he said. “I’ve seen people lose college scholarships over the dumbest things just because they thought it’d be cool to say a certain something. I’ve worked down in the office here and seen plenty of people get called in for a post they made. People just need to learn to mind their own business and worry about themselves in the long run.”
“You are student-athletes and it’s important for you to make good decisions,” Schumpert told the team. “That can be something as small as what you ‘like’ on Facebook and what little emojis you decide to put up. People can misconstrue anything. We had an incident not too long ago where a student’s parent passed away, and 15 people ‘liked’ the post. We all understand no one meant, ‘Great job, your parent died,’ but in an emotional moment, it really messed her up. It took us a long time to get that corrected in her life.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.