Adults need to learn how to use social media responsibly


Words have power. People often underestimate the impact that their words have. But, in the turn of a century, words have become more accessible than ever before. Today, people have the ability to build a platform and project their voice for those who are willing to hear it. In the age of social media, the power of words is used in a way that is malicious and violent. But what really makes me feel angry, sad, and confused is the behavior of adults on social media. Within my experience on social media, I’ve seen so many adults abuse the power of their voice. Adults need to learn what is appropriate to say while online and what, quite frankly, is considered hurtful.

I’m not saying every adult acts in this impolite manner online, but it is tragic that there even are adults that behave in this rude and saddening manner. While there are many adults that do not abuse social media, it is often the negative experiences online that people remember.

Adults need to understand that what they say online matters. The things that they say through the internet are important. There is so much someone is willing to say on social media that they wouldn’t dare say to someone’s face. If you wouldn’t say something to someone in person, don’t post it on social media. End of story.

The things you say hurt. While you try and hide behind your computer screen, try and think about the person on the other end who you have damaged with your words.

I find that some adults do not get the concept that they aren’t always right. Adults feel this position of entitlement to say whatever they please on the internet because they think what they say is right. Adults don’t know everything. Age does not give you the source of eternal knowledge.

Don’t believe me? Look at some political arguments on social media. Adults will go around in circles for weeks on Facebook, arguing over the small, petty political things. Both sides have a desire to get the last word in and be considered the right person. But often times, things go too far, and both people involved refuse to apologize. It’s okay to be wrong. It’s ok to admit you’re still learning, even when you’re out of the education system.

Aside from the political side of things, I am so sick of adults making rash and hurtful comments towards children. When on the internet, there is so much to the story that you don’t see. You can’t judge someone’s whole character through a 2-D screen, so it’s important to stop making assumptions.

I’ve seen so many horrible comments directed at children coming from adults. At the end of the day, the adults need to remember that they are the adult of the situation and that they need to start acting like it.

Adults need to remember that respect is earned, not given. If you want the respect of children, stop acting like you are some high and mighty power on the internet. Stop harassing others from behind your screen and grow up.

In schools, kids are often given lessons about cyberbullying and the power of social media. Most times, this defers children from living life as a cyberbully. Sure, some kids still revert to this sad action, but more often than not, kids are not the only source of cyberbullying.

What about adults? Adults never had lessons on cyberbullying in school. Kids have grown up with this world of technology around them. Kids have learned the power that lies at their fingertips. Kids have been taught what is inappropriate while online. Adults never learned these things. The things that they say through social media could be categorized as cyberbullying. The constant name-calling, threatening, and inappropriate use of social media can be seen in some adults that need to learn what is considered appropriate.

With the right tools, social media can be used to do great things. So just remember, next time before you hit send on your keyboard, think about the power that your words have.