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Haunting Picture

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Lesson: True Connections: Personal Experiences with Social Media

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Writing

Haunting Picture

By Jazlyn Moses

One student explores their online persona and the lasting importance of conscientious social media practices.

Level

Grades 9–12

Type

Narrative

Pictures, videos, stories and experiences are examples of things we share on our social media accounts with our friends and peers. We share these types of experiences because they make us cheerful or even brokenhearted. There are many reasons to share your life with your social media peers but you must be careful with what you post because it can come back to hurt you in a negative way.

When I am online I feel as though I am much different than I am in “real” life. I am someone who is very cautious about what I post online. I will only post things that make me feel confident. I am comfortable with what people may say in reply to my posts.

When I am with my friends or people I trust, who I know will not judge me, I am a completely different person. I feel like I can be my “real” self. My online persona is very different than who I am in “real” life.

When I am online I try to be as careful as possible. I know that if I were to post something bad it can come back to hurt me in the long run. This happened to my cousin. She was seventeen years old in the image but decided to post a picture of herself drinking on her Instagram page. Years later, when she went to apply for a job as a corrections officer in a county jail, they did a very brief background check and saw the picture she posted of her drinking five years earlier. Because she was applying for a job in a prison, they said she was breaking the law. The drinking age was 21, and she was only 17 at the time the picture was taken. They took her to court, and the judge gave her a fine of $150 for breaking the law. She paid the fine and was not given the job in the county jail.

A small thing that you may think is cute or funny at the time will come back to damage your reputation of having a successful career. Not only did she learn her lesson, but it also taught our family members to be cautious about what you post online because it never goes away. For this reason, I am very careful as to what I post online because I do not want to ruin my chances of an admirable job in my future. I might be a different person online than I am in “real” life but I want to protect my reputation that my employers and co-workers will see.

Being a conservative rather than an outgoing person on social media can affect how job opportunities and colleges view your personality even before they meet you. If they see you posting pictures and videos of you doing illegal actions, then they are going to think twice about hiring you for that job or accepting you to their college. Technology and social media have taught me to be very careful of the things I put online because they may come back to hurt you. My cousin’s unfortunate experience with social media has taught me a life lesson of never posting an image or video of you doing an action you will regret later in your life.

Shared from This 826 Book

True Connections: Teen-to-Teen Advice About Social Media and the Digital World

PRESENTED BY 826 NATIONAL AND COMMON SENSE MEDIA

True Connections features young writers from around the country exploring their relationship with the internet, with social media, and with the digital world in general. From essays about internet addiction to explorations of digital disconnections, True Connections gives young writers the chance to ask big questions about what it means to strike a balance between real life and online life, and to remain true to oneself in both.

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From this lesson

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True Connections: Personal Experiences with Social Media

by Rebecca Darugar, Liz Levine, and Brancey Mora, 826NYC and 826 National

Lesson Summary

Invite students to write about their personal experiences with social media and online platforms with this lesson from 826NYC.

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