Social media makes social engagement easier for some students

Morgan Johns, Staff Writer

For some, social media is a communication platform that helps them feel more a part of their community and everyday life, but for others it’s a way for them to stay informed with world and local events.
Students in the transition room at Hayes are able to have social engagement with the use of social media.
“I think a lot of our students that struggle with that face to face communication can make friends more easily through social media,” intervention specialist Amy Smock said. “Then once they see them here at school, it might be easier for [the transition room students] to approach them.”
However, those students may need aid setting up their accounts. Once the profile is set up, it’s a way for them to expand their relationships with people.
“[The transition room students] might need some help creating accounts and getting email addresses and passwords, but it really is something that they can easily access and build connections with people through,” Smock said.
Social media helps to promote autonomy, though this comes with both negative and positive impacts on students’ social skills.
“I think it definitely promotes independence,” Smock said. “There is a fine line there because you don’t want them to go too far off and make bad choices.”
Students are also able to stay informed about events and activities that are taking place at school with the use of social media.
“We use [social media] to send out announcements or reminders of spirit week or upcoming events that are being hosted via Student Council,” said Student Council member Sarah Gronwall.
However, Henry says that students should be using social media more to promote the sports teams at Hayes and get more students to come support them at games.
Though social media has its benefits, it also comes with consequences and challenges.
“Unfortunately, there are some negative consequences,” former student Kyle Henry said. “Some people are rude and disrespectful to each other on social media, [and it] can seriously affect someone’s life. One of the consequences is cyberbullying, [so] you have to be extremely careful what you post.”
Though those are valid concerns about social media, it is ultimately a platform that anyone can use to express themselves and become a part of a community with people who share similar interests.
“…it definitely opens the door to meet a lot more people, to voice their opinions about things they wouldn’t typically be able to voice and that’s super important,” Smock said.