Students examine role of internet in social life

Lauren Frias, staff writer

Settling down to begin a collection of homework assignments, freshman Hwa Oh opens her laptop and commences a flurry of mathematical equations and quotes from literary classics. As the mouse pointer darts across the screen, Oh shuffles through an array of windows, ranging from Word documents to internet sources, the click of her mouse becoming almost as constant as the rustling of the papers beneath her forearms.

Almost by instinct, Oh logs onto Facebook, a social media site prominently present in most teenage lives. Scrolling through her newsfeed, several posts from friends, close and mutual, glide on and off the screen.

Occasionally, Oh pauses her rapid scrolling to observe posts more personal than others, ranging from small fights with a family member to a bad break-up between a couple, which became more and more evident each time the page refreshed.

“The Internet shouldn’t be treated as a best friend,” Oh said. “It isn’t a place where people can freely talk about whatever they want and not face consequences because of it.”

Not only does Oh think that internet comfort is becoming more pronounced, but according to a survey of 140 students, 61 percent of students are not completely comfortable with posting personal comments on the Internet.

Several reasons stand behind students not being completely comfortable, one of which being the concern of college administrators seeing the posts. According to sophomore Uchral Tergel, she is not comfortable with posting personal comments for this reason.

“I don’t think it will leave a good first impression if [college administrators] see you posting all of your private comments for the world to see,” Tergel said. “Plus, it shows that you care more about your social media [rather] than actually doing good stuff for the community.”

In relation to the future as well, sophomore Hannah Nelson also notices that there are consequences when it comes to posting personal comments on the Internet..

“Everything you post on the Internet will get back to you,” Nelson said. “I know people still get comments on things they posted on Facebook from freshman year that are now seniors.”

According to Nelson, the line regarding what is acceptable to be posted on the Internet is drawn when it comes to family and relationships.  Not only does this betray the privacy of the person but others mentioned as well.

“I think you could draw the line at what goes on in your family and relationships,” Nelson said. “Nobody wants to know what you and your boyfriend [or] girlfriend fought about. Also, I’m sure your family doesn’t want everyone [on the Internet] to know what’s going on [concerning family affairs].”

Contrasting to the previous views, freshman Julia Park does not find any problems with posting personal comments on social media sites. The person posting the comment is in charge of how they want others to perceive it.

“Even if I say personal stuff, I’m pretty sure no one will make fun of me,” Park said. “I feel really safe and supported by other people. If you are around people that support and comfort you, then it wouldn’t be such a problem [to post personal comments]. You should care more about what you think, not what people will think of you. As I read in a book, you are the main character of your life. Don’t let other people take over your role.”

In conclusion, there is a fine line between being okay with a personal post and not being okay, according to freshman Luana Dumitrache. Comfort on posting a certain statement lies in the statement itself.

“I feel like you should be okay with expressing your opinions if it is something [that] you really believe in,” Dumitrache said. “But at the same time, some things are meant to be kept private.”