Living with the good and bad of social media

Published date29 September 2022
Publication titleCentral Otago News
Q There are a lot of opinions and assumptions around what’s happening online in schools. What have you noticed

Sophia: ‘‘I have heard a lot about group chats being made targeting certain people, and certain accounts where they group post about someone or group two people together and post about them. Most of that stuff is done anonymously and you won’t really know who’s posting it, and who’s behind the screen. I’ve never been involved in any of it myself, so I don’t really have a clear idea of it, but that’s what I’ve heard.’’

Harry: ‘‘Yeah, I think there is a bit of that going on. There tends to be a bit in the younger years, the middle years 9-11, I think. You can find who does it.’’

Q What sort of platforms are being used?

Harry: ‘‘Bit of everything, but TikTok is probably the main one.’’

Sophia: ‘‘I feel like TikTok probably has the least restrictions and control over what you can post. I see a wide range of stuff on there, but also Instagram and Snapchat as well.’’

Q There have been concerns about Snap Chat’s Snap Maps [a location sharing feature]. Is that used quite often?

Harry: ‘‘It’s casually used.’’

Sophia: ‘‘I haven’t heard anything about it being negatively used, not here anyway.’’

Harry: ‘‘You’ve got control in that you can ghost mode.’’

Amelia: ‘‘You can choose who can see it.’’

Harry: ‘‘It’s not compulsory if you have Snapchat to have Snap Maps on.’’

Q How does something from social media transition over to real life, and potentially into social harm?

Harry: ‘‘I think sometimes if it gets intense, the online bullying can transition into in-person. If they’re saying mean things online then someone might come to school a bit heated and fight or verbally abuse [people].’’

Sophia: ‘‘I think the accessibility of everything to everyone. Things can be screen-shot and saved and then shared around, and it just amplifies the situation so much more. There’s not that much privacy between people’s chats and each other. It’s not really the app’s fault as such.’’

Q People often say teenagers aspire to be influencers. What are your thoughts around this and have you noticed it?

Harry: ‘‘From my experience, not really. I don’t know if it’s kind of the New Zealand culture, but that kind of thing is shunned. You’re coming out saying ‘Hello everyone, look at me, this is my vlog’, it’s like, come on mate, what are you doing. I think it’s obviously looking at the lifestyle they’re living — who wouldn’t want a big house, wake up just film your life and there’s...

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