The person behind the account

Mary Claghorn, Design Manager

Social media has taken over the world. Hashtags are incorporated on every television network, and the Pope has his own Twitter account. The world has become smaller because of this, but social media is not all “sunshine and rainbows.” In the wrong hands, social media can sometimes be hurtful. Cyberbullying has become a major downfall, and part of this is a result of  the anonymity it can offer. Half of teens have experienced cyber bullying.

People should not use social media to make themselves feel more powerful behind a screen. Just because someone is able to change their name does not mean someone should. Taking advantage of the ability to be anonymous to create a false person or an account to hurt people is cowardly and should be strongly frowned upon.

“I think people use fake accounts to comment on people’s pictures or to comment anonymously,” senior Sunna Ahmed said. “Honestly, I think if you’re going to say anything on social media, you should do it from an account that says your name, because 9 times out of 10, if you are saying something anonymously, it usually is mean.”

Within the world of social media over the past couple of years, accounts have been made to converse about the students at this very school. On Instagram there are accounts entitled, “Truth About HSE People”, “HSE Mean or Nice” and “HSE Couples.” Hiding behind these accounts to state an opinion, whether positive or negative, is gutless.

“I’m not sure why people [create fake accounts], honestly,” senior Carly Cummings said. “But yeah, freshman year I knew one kid who made a fake account and talked awful about girls, including me. I still don’t know why he did it because he wasn’t bullied. He was pretty well known.”

The whole point of an opinion is to share personal thoughts and gain feedback from it, but now because of the comfortability of not having to put a face or name to a personal stance, there is no consequence and no barrier between absurd opinions to genuine ones.

Television is even jumping on board with this negative aspect of social media. On MTV, Nev Schulman is the host of a show “Catfish.” He travels around America to have people in internet relationships meet in real life. More often than not one person is not who they claim to be, which is to be “catfished.” This show has proven people use the internet to create a new persona not just for cyberbullying, but to develop false relationships, and to become someone who they are not.

When signing up for an account on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or the other various social media platforms, use a valid name. Step away from the computer if motives are not positive or if it involves the creation of  a human being who does not exist. The terms and conditions of using social media are for positive purposes to connect with friends on a daily basis and on a more personal level, so let’s use it the correct way.