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On the first Monday of March, the fifth, the class of 2020 gathered in the auditorium for a forty minute presentation on internet safety. Trooper Cummings informed the entire grade about how big of a role the internet plays on our everyday lives and future. She explained how the internet is our “virtual tattoo” and how everything we post, tweet, comment, and say on the internet sticks with us forever and how one simple mistake can get us rejected from our dream college, denied from the job we always wanted, or even arrested. Most people don’t think about the everyday risk of logging onto the social media with the freedom to say anything they want with the top of a couple buttons.
According to a poll dating from 2014 to 2015 from Health and Human Services, 94% of teenagers that access the internet on a mobile device, go on the internet daily. That means that 94% of teenagers are taking an everyday risk of making a life changing mistake. This number will only be going up as time progresses. Of course this doesn’t stumble upon our minds when scrolling down our Instagram feeds or replaying Snapchat Stories. As technology is replacing paper and pen in our lives, it is much harder to erase the things we expose to the open world. If you wanted to get rid of a certain photo a couple years ago, you would probably rip it up and throw it in the garbage. Now, deleting a photo from your Facebook profile doesn’t necessarily mean that it is gone from existence. Other people might have saved your photo without you knowing. Maybe even strangers.
Trooper Cummings warned us of various different things we are exposed to on the internet such as cyber-bullying, sexting, dangerous strangers, and simply even having the ability to say anything you want, leaving the whole world to see. Society cannot get rid of these things. However, teenagers have the option to be safe on the internet for a safer and better life. The best way to stay safe on the internet is to think about everything you want to post, message, comment, and share beforehand. This way, you can fully think if whatever is on your mind is a good thing to say. If you are unsure, then keep it to yourself. No one is forcing you to speak what’s on your mind. The world is in our hands, teenagers and millennials are the molders of today’s society. It’s our choice on how we want to mold it.