Social media sharing can be illuminating — or discouraging

By E’Yanna Davis

Lately, social media has captured the harsh reality of society. Tragedies have caught the attention of numerous audiences across the nation. People constantly post about their everyday lives, the good side and the bad side, often in the form of viral videos.

Most of the time, the bad side is more notable than the good. For example, this past spring, a young man, Tyre Sampson, fell from his seat onto the ground from the Orlando Free Fall in Florida. The viral video reached over a million views on Facebook. Not just Florida, tragedies like this happen almost every day across the nation.

Carolyne Tarver, a sophomore psychology major at Louisiana Tech, said that it can be good to spread information on social media, but not in most cases. Any graphic event that unfolds has its perks with multiple videos posted online about it, but what has perks also has its disadvantages.

“In some cases, it can be good to have videos up so people can see what happened properly, but in this case, it’s not helpful right now, ” Tarver said.

Madison Beam, a junior communication major at Tech, explained that social media is not always a reliable way to spread awareness of tragedies to others.

“It depends on who is talking, ” Beam said.

Many social media outlets have users who post information daily without having the credentials to back up their information.

“If it’s a news outlet, I would be more likely to trust them on social media compared to other people that just call themselves ‘news’ media, ” Beam said.

The more credibility a source has, the more people trust and believe in the source.

People constantly providing a source of harsh realities on the internet can be emotionally tiring for others. Kristi Stake, instructor of communication studies at Tech, said that being on social media can be good, but there are limits to what individuals can say or do.

“Most of my students in my communication classes argue that they have freedom of speech in America so they think they can post whatever they want,” Stake said.

However, she said that is not always the case.

“There are rules on what you can or can’t say on the internet. The problem is that we don’t enforce these rules and people don’t even know they exist,” Stake said. “The only way we fix this situation is to educate ourselves. Show people how social media works and show them why these ‘unknown’ rules are in place.”