Spencer Linsner—Hey everyone! Sorry it took me half a semester to make a post, but I’ve had a pretty full schedule this semester. Now though, I’ve finally found some time to sit down and type out some thoughts.
Today I want to talk about social media. If you’re reading this, odds are (in this day and age) that you probably have some sort of profile on at least one social network. There’s a chance you may have found this article through a link on my Facebook or Twitter account (shameless plug for bport_Spencer on Twitter). There’s so many different kinds, and for so many different purposes: Instagram for photos, Pinterest if you’re crafty, Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, and Twitter for quick text bites. And new ones are always popping up: Yik Yak is an app used to make anonymous posts and view posts from others around you, usually sorted by college. It’s really popular among college students, and Brockport is no exception.
The College itself has a web presence on many different social networks: Brockport has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Youtube, and even Google+ (if by some grand stretch of the imagination you actually use Google+). And Brockport posts news everything and anything that’s happening on campus, be it the week in pictures or a drone flyover of the homecoming game. And there are other on-campus organizations, like clubs and sports teams that have a presence as well. BASC keeps you updated on the campus dining halls, Eagle Empire lets everyone know which game they be cheering at next, and Brockport IT informs students about technical issues on campus.
Unfortunately, the news from these outlets isn’t always the kind you want to hear. You may have heard that a student, David Medina, was assaulted on campus several weeks ago. He made a recovery and his assailant was captured within 12 hours of the incident. Beforehand, though, the College and 89.1 the Point, the college’s radio station, were providing updates throughout the day. While this was informative and helpful, the situation also elicited some unfortunate responses, particularly on Twitter and Yik Yak, from certain members (emphasis on CERTAIN members, NOT ALL) of the student body. And when I say “unfortunate”, I mean “so offensive and unfunny they really don’t bear repeating”. I think my fellow blogger Katelynn put it best:
(That tweet is from her personal, locked twitter account (borrowed with permission); I’ve linked to her public blog account above)
Just so we’re clear, I’m not saying that Brockport students are all insensitive jerks. On the contrary, posts like those I mentioned were few and far between, and the overwhelming majority of stuff I saw online expressed support for David and his family. But those few bad apples really stood out in the most ugly way possible, which brings me to the moral of this post:
Social networks are one of the most amazing tools spawned from the digital era, and through the proper use of them we can do and show incredibly cool, positive content (for example: Brockport’s accounts! 😉 ). But improper use can have some really rough consequences. So before you hit enter and send that post out, make sure your contribution to the discussion isn’t a malicious one.