Photo Credit: Juliana Ferrie/Achona Online/Piktochart
Oftentimes, as we pave our way through our high school years, we do not connect the effects of our current actions with those of our futures. As demonstrated by society’s public figures, decisions that may seem trivial in the moment could potentially alter a person’s future forever. With these daily examples in mind, we must ask ourselves the following: are our high school actions as trivial as we make them out to be, or will they hold a strong influence over our forthcoming lives? Most importantly, how do our high school actions impact those who surround us?
Gabby Boyd (‘19) said, “I think it depends on the type or severity of the action. I don’t think concepts like popularity follow throughout the rest of life. However, I do think that if possibly one doesn’t try hard enough in high school, it may affect their work ethic later in life.”
Especially in this new age of human advancement, the sudden explosion of technology impacts our lives on a daily basis. Smartphones, laptops, and tablets are normalities in our world, and as a result, they shape not only our personal behaviors, but also our societal standards. As we continue to step into the unknown territories of the virtual world, we must learn the consequences of our online presence in relation to our futures. As we have seen through public examples, our decisions online, whether in the form of videos, social media posts, or text messages, can resurface at any moment.
Specifically, today’s youth interacts with technology more than ever. According to Pew Research Center, 95% of teenagers report that they have access to a smartphone. Thus, we are the generation defining the rules of the Internet, and we must act accordingly.
Anabela Ebsworth Llavona (‘19) said, “I believe that we need to be aware of our actions on social media just like we would be in person. All of our actions have consequences, even on the internet.”
if u don’t learn from ur mistakes, u can never grow as a person.
i’ve learned a lot & i am grateful to have the power to change. i never want to be who i was yesterday. we’re in a constant battle to become a better version of ourselves, use ur voice as ur weapon.
— Kian Lawley 🎃 (@KianLawley) February 4, 2018
In the news, we continue to see an increase in the number of cases involving social media, which often change the course of a person’s life. For example, popular YouTube stars Kian Lawley and Laura Lee have recently been in the limelight for racist statements they made at one point on social media platforms.
Although social media keeps a record of past decisions, it can also be a source of awareness. Recently, Twitter became a major instrument for political and social movements that bring awareness to the severity of one’s actions. The “#MeToo” movement, as well as the “#WhyIDidntReport” movement, reinforces the idea that a person’s actions, especially in relation to sexual assault, have severe consequences. These movements fight against using gender or circumstances to weigh the severity of a young person’s decision.
Caitlin Otte (‘21) said, “I think using social media properly could not only bring people together, but also allow our society to evolve. As of the moment, social media provides more harmful effects than beneficial ones. Through using social media properly, we would have access to a whole new world of communication that would be free from the insecurities and burdens it typically results in.”
When we look at the prominent figures of society, it is evident that our high school actions are not as insignificant as we make them out to be. Lately, even those we look up to as the leaders of the United States feel the effects of their past. Allegations of sexual misconduct made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford delayed the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. This instance occurred during the high school years of Ford and Kavanaugh.
Thus, as society advances, we are learning how to hold others accountable for their actions despite when they were committed. With the everyday examples we see in mind, we must also be aware that with every action, there is also a consequence. If we continue to respect others and their feelings, we can prevent life-altering mistakes.