Social Media: Root of all Evil?

A New Jersey middle school principal has called for a ban on all social media networks for students at his school. Read the article linked below. Leave a thoughtful comment here. Do you agree with the policy or not? Why? If the use of social networks is a potential problem what might be a solution to the problem?

Be sure to read the ENTIRE article as the principal's email is at the bottom and he gives his rationale for the request to ban social media networks.

New Jersey Principal Asks Parents To Ban Social Networking

Be sure to leave your comment today, April 29, no later than 5 pm.

52 comments:

Savanna said...

I can understand schools blocking social networking sites like myspace and facebook. However, like at our school, websites in which are useful in the classroom like youtube and glogster should not be banned. Whether they are at home or at school students are going to look at things, or at least try to look at things, that are not school related. That is a fact that administrations all over America are going to have to deal with. With so many restrictions on websites students find a way to get in, such as using proxies, and in doing so can damage the computer. I this teachers should make a list of websites they want unblocked and what they are going to use is for.

Kimberly said...

I kind of agree with the principal to a certain extent. BUT! I mean, only because of the cyber-bullying. Social networking should be encouraged, right? Isn't that why people in college are encouraged to join sororities and clubs? It is a way to get to know people. As for the bullying... people who say negative things online are just too afraid to say it in person.

Melissa said...

It is understandable that this principal and others want to ban social networking sites for the benefit of the students. However, some social netqworking sites are beneficial to the students and their school work. Students should not be able to access Myspace and facebook at school i agree, but other sites like Glogster, Tumblr, and youtube should be an exception. I do not agree with the principals proposal to have parents check their childrens text messages or viewing history.

Samson Tong said...

The principal of this school is trying to ENTIRELY take social networking sites like myspace, facebook, twitter, etc, out of a teens life. During teen years is when a person is supposed to open up and "find" themself. But without friends it is unattainable. Social networking websites should not be allowed in schools because it can act as a distraction but telling people to get off of one of these sites hurts the website and the student. Keeping students off those sites prevent them from online predators or whatever but the internet is not all a bad place.

Carla said...

To some extent, I can agree with the principal about how social networking can be bad influence on children, but that's not all social networking is about. True, there are some people who purposely hurt other through social-networking sites, but why punish all students for the acts of some? Social-networking sites are fun. They allow students to meet and communicate other students at their school. I do, however, agree that Facebook or Myspace should be blocked at school, but should be allowable at home.

Kimmy said...
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Kimmy said...

Banning all social networking sites is completely unnecessary because sometimes it can help students. Networking sites such as youtube and glogster help students study by creating visuals for people to who do not have a literal mind. Restricting some sites such as facebook and myspace can be understandable during school times, but after school, students should be allowed to use sites that they want to. So, I do not, obviously, agree with the policy. If the use of social networks is a potential problem during school, then a solution can be to just to talk about it and think about the positive outcomes that it can make.

Hi:)

Stacy Chan said...

I see eye to eye with the principal to an extent. At the end of the day, however, I do believe that it is up to parents' discretion to monitor their children's activities. Until children are taking advantage of the free press and abusing their rights, I do not see the need to completely remove accounts to social networking sites.

Leah said...

It makes sense that the principle is encouraging parents to check up on their students to prevent cyber-bullying. However, the principle's request seem a bit extreme. Computers have become a prominent part of kid's lives and overtime, they are going to become increasingly important. These sites should not be accessible at school, but i feel that the principal is crossing the line by requesting they be taken away at home.

Stephanie Chan said...

The New Jersey middle school principal said, "the sites have become a tool for children to do psychological harm to each other, often anonymously – a trend known as "cyber-bullying."

In addition to his over exagerration about social networking, he has overlooked the pros of social networking. Social networking and the internet has become one of the fastest and fairly effective way to stay connected and expand one's network. Whether on a personal or professional level, students can do more than cyber-bully.

Essentially, for parents to track their child's phone is over the top and not acceptable. Why should these middle schoolers be banned from one of their daily forms of free entertainment?

Smylezface:] said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edison said...

Ohkay sure, social networking sites such as FaceBook could be a distraction during school but I think this principal is taking things a little too far. He should not be telling parents how to teach their children and trying to regulate what their children are doing even at home. They have their own right to use whatever social networking site they want without being controlled by their school principal when they are not even at school.It is up to the students themselves whether or not they let sites like FaceBook or Twitter affect their schoolwork. These sites can also provide an short escape from hours of mindless studying and homework once in a while and students can socialize and interact with their friends, a huge significance in a teenagers life.
Hello, my name is Edison.

Jennifer D said...

As Savanna & Kimmy said, I agree with the principal to a certain extent. It's understandable that they would want to block social networking sites such as facebook, myspace, and twitter. They only have the best interests in mind for the students.

These sites should be blocked at school, but definitely should be allowed at home. At school, these sites could be a distraction, so it would be understandable, but at home, that's another mater.

Being able to have access to these social networks allows us students to adjust to the social-outside world. It also lets us communicate with students and relatives that we don't see on a daily basis.

Wendy said...

The principal's solution to "cyber-bullying" is too extreme. No doubt that cutting the use of social networks can solve the "cyber" problem, but what about those who are being bullied in real life? Social networking sites allow students to meet new friends and improve their "social" skills. They provide them a platform to improve their social skills and somewhat help students with their homework. These websites are important to students who reject or feel uncomfortable to express themselves directly to others. I can't really think up a solution to the "cyber-bullying" problem, but I think those who are being bullied can block those who leave inappropriate comments on their blog. Or they could sue those who bully as those who are being bullied are protected by the laws.

colby said...

Although it is understandable as to why the principal would want to do this but it is so stupid. I completely disagree to how he wants to approach this situation. There is completely no need to tell kids or tell parents to tell their kids to stop. Social networking is just the new thing for kids and adults alike today and whether there is drama or not over it, it doesn't have to go as far up as the administration to get involved. What happens on a social networking site is their problem and should be dealt with by themselves.

sarina said...

I understand why Principal Anthony Orsini is making an effort to ban the use of social networking sites for his middle school students. I agree to a certain extent because I know social networking sites trigger fights with students especially young middle school students. However, every parent has the right to choose which websites their children are surfing through. So therefore, the principal can only suggest and give advice to parents about which site their children should be on. Although social networking sites seem harmless is can be dangerous, especially for young teenage students.

Yueming Wang said...

The principal does have a point. Excessive socializing online is detrimental to the development and health of students. However, it is true that not enough exposure will also take a deadly toll. Although the principal's idea that students should not be allowed to spend too much time online, his methods of enforcing it is too extreme and inapplicable. Parents should become more aware of their children are doing online and how much time they're spending.

Tracy said...

The principal is justified in trying to prevent cyber bullying, however, I don't think his idea of completely banning social networking for his middle school students is fair for everyone. The specific students bullying their peers online are at fault and ought to be punished individually. Most of the other students are behaving themselves on the Internet, and enjoy the benefit of being able to connect with their peers and start forming relationships that may help them in the future. For this reason, it would be better to establish a cyber bullying report system, so that offending students may be reported and taken care of individually. Such punishments could include being removed from the social networking sites and other such actions that may be taken online AND offline. However, the principal should be emphasizing on the parents' roles in disciplining their own children to teach them to do the right thing. The suggestion for parents to read students' texts is also a bad idea. In doing so, parents violate student's rights to privacy, especially if there is no just reason why the texts of every individual should be monitored. Students that behave themselves will surely feel suppressed and wronged by such a broadly enforced rule. Responsible students should not be punished for others' offenses.

Wai Hin said...

Although the reason that the principal of BFMS wants to ban all the social networking website or even let his students to use the computer to good, he should not send a e-mail to the parents and require them to cut the Internet or install an software to control what their children have done in the network. The students have their own right to do the things they want to do, even they are writing something bad in the internet. Although the principal said cyber-bullying is a very serious problem in the social websites, there are other ways to solve that problem, parents can teach the students not to bully others in the internet, etc. But they should not delete their childrens' accounts, I think this way does not help much but makes the paradox between the children and the parents deeper.

FLORAINE KYLA said...

Yes, times have indeed changed. When I was in middle school, I'll admit I had a myspace, but I never had to deal with demeaning comments/posts/messages. I understand where this principal is coming from, especially with cyber-bullying being detrimental to young minds, but he fails to address other issues, such as young teens posting racy pictures and child predators. Honestly, one can ban and block all "social networking sites" and limit/monitor all text messages, but this will not put an end to bullying. There are always loopholes to every rule, and teens will be even more determined to find these loopholes when rules are forced on them. Maybe it's just me, but attacks via the internet are from cowards and parents should just allow their children to access facebook if they deem their pre-teens mature enough to brush these comments off.

Aundrea_Giacomelli said...

I understand the concept of trying to monitor social networking sites, but the principle shouldn't be telling parents that their kids should not have a social networking site. If the principal dissaproves of the use of a social network or a cell phone then he should elimintate it as HIS school. It is not his position to demand parents to also do the same. I honestly don't think there is THAT much cyber-bullying.

Chloe said...

There is no need for principal's to interfere in student's home life (inevitably, they will, but they should not). Discipline at home is up to parents, and discipline at school to principals. Even to simply advise such a ridiculous policy is unnecessary. The principal reasons that eliminating social networking will limit bullying - operative word being "limit." Students will face bullying regardless. In fact, sometimes the earlier the better (obviously not too early, though), if only because it helps to construct/develop kids.

In any case, people are responsible for their actions - at any age - and therefore should be prepared for/expect the consequences of opening accounts at sites such as Formspring.

Social websites aren't all bad, anyway. In this age, there are few sources of entertainment outside of the internet, and sites like Facebook and Myspace are undeniably good ways to contact/stay in touch with people.

simaran said...

I agree with the principal to an extent. Like most people said, social networking can be harmful and distracting at school. However, even at school some of these sites can be beneficial, like Youtube and Glogster. Glogster lets students post information on the site that makes it easier to understand, while also saving paper, so sites like these should not be banned. And even at home, these sites can be beneficial. Many people are unable to contact their families that live too far away. But with these sites, children can easily talk to them and stay in touch. True that they are in danger, but even if these sites are blocked they are going to continue to think the same way. People who spread rumors online, will continue to spread them. And people who post inappropritate things online will continue to do so. They will somehow find a alternative way, so there is no point in blocking the sites.

Sabrina said...

It is right for a principal caring about the well-being of students by trying to prevent cyber-bullying. I also think it is okay that sites like facebook, myspace, formspring, etc, to be blocked at school because it distracts students. But, it should be okay to have websites that are beneficial to a school's learning environment. For example, we live in the 21st century where we use emails to contact just about everyone. If we were to block gmail, for example, students will not learn how properly utilize emails which is needed often in high school and in life.

alec said...

We live in a society where social networking has become a normality amongst individuals, regardless of any age group. Whether it be those in middle or high school, elementary, college, or as adults, this new decade in the 21st century is where social networking sites are now an accepted necessity, just as how television dominated society during the first half of the 20th century and was a part of the American Dream. I think people of any age group will always find a way into this growing society of social networking and it can't be stopped, regardless how harmful. Humans need new ways of social interaction so I don't agree with this policy. One cannot stop the todler from growing; one can only accept that growth is a part of life.

Andrew Gabriel said...

I completely disagree with what he is doing. Social networking has become part of the modern world and he needs to get with the program. He can scream and use facts and figures all he wants, but he does not have the influence because many businesses live off those as well. Sure they maybe kids, but the only way they could ever securely block themselves from social networking sites is to stop them from going to the world. Why would he think up this? What’s next is he going to stop it in the entire world. No it will never happen. He is crazy and just ignore him forever. His control goes as far as his own house. He should go away.

ChristianArn said...

Even though there have been countless cases of "cyber-bullying" through social networking sites, asking parents to block these sites as home it taking it too far. With social networking sites, it allows students to communicate with students from other schools and keep in touch with others. Additionally, social networking sites are a fun way to meet new people.

But as Leah said, "The principal is crossing the line by requesting them be taken away at home."

Dchia23 said...

I disagree because I believe that if a student or anybody in life wants to do anything in life they will do it. So, adding this restriction to students will just cause them to want to log on the social networking websites more.

Chris Mendoza said...

I agree with the principal when he says social networking can be an instrument to bully people. People are more likely to bully on the internet since they believe they are unattainable, and can pose as unaccountable. Unfortunately,life is full of risks, and the fact that we live in a civilize society means we are social. The principal is simply asking what is becoming increasingly impossible. Students can still use computers at the library, or their parents laptops, or almost any other public area with computers. Also, the principal ideas apply to T.V., magazines, and still, school. These are technology or places that, for example, influence students on how to look or partake in diets that are harmful. The full extent of the principal's argument is to broad for one to control unless a society is willing to abide, however we are not at that point. What it goes bake to is the students at the school, in the hallways, who spread horrible rumors. Its the people that must change, and although there are ways to defend oneself or child, most children want to be surrounded by others, the want to have attention, meaning they will find other outlets to socialize. Plus, there are benefits to social networking sights, such as further and quicker collaboration. The principal's ideas are humble, however, the people, society must change, and sometimes change hurts.

Beilul Naizghi said...

It is clear that Mr. Orsini has had to deal with more than his fair share of cyber-bullying problems. I do feel that simply demanding that students' delete their accounts would not solve anything, because as Mr. Orsini pointed out, most parents had no idea that their students had social networking accounts. I would advocate that the schools and parents provide cyber-bullying presentations and make the kids aware of the dangers of social-networking.

Jordan said...

The principal has a point. Using social networking to cyber-bully should be banned. However, the principal cannot tell the parents of his students how to parent their children. It sounds like he's saying the parents aren't doing their job by allowing their children to participate on social networking sites. Sometimes social networking sites are useful for communication and keeping in contact with distant friends. I understand the principal's argument, but as long as the children's parent are aware that their child has a social network account, then I don't think he has an actual say in the matter.

Katherine said...

I think that social networking sites are not all bad, like some peopel would like to think. Websites like Myspace, Facebook, and Formspring all can provide useful ways for people to connect with distant relatives and friends. However, I think some parental guidance should be shown towards these sites as young people can bully each other over the internet. And let's face it, anything that goes on the Internet never goes away. However, I don't think there is real need to ban social networking sites. From a principal's standpoint, it is somewhat pointless to urge parents and students to destroy their accounts as the students are obviously going to protest the matter. Students are smart and will always find a way to get around a policy they consider pointless.

Breaunna said...

I disagree with the principal. I believe he has the right to inform the students of the consequences that come with social networking, but I don't believe the principal had the right to send the email he did. Even though some say the principal was only urging the students and their families to delete these accounts, it sounded more like a demand than a request. Thus, I believe the principal was too blunt in his request allowing it to be mistaken and misunderstood by readers. His intentions are good, but his tact was horrible. He should just try to inform the students and families and refrain from telling them what they should do.

Renee said...

I agree to the principal that middle school students have no reason to be a part of social networking sites. Children of such ages should be protected from the threat of being bullied in the cyberspace. They are not grown up and thus lack the ability or experience in dealing with such "attacks". Parents will be responsible for their children in this case. Moreover, parents have the obligation to monitor or at least guide their children to the right path by paying attention to their daily activities but not through total control as stated in the email. The best solution to protect children is to prove to them the negative effects created by social networking to middle school students.

Crystal said...

Cyber bullying is a bad thing, but to go as far as to block all social networking is just to much. Banning social networking will not rid the problem with bullying. Social networking has become a social norm and its not like every single social networking site has no benefits what so ever.

Joyce said...

Telling kids not to join social networking sites is like telling a cat not to lick itself. Its not going to happen. Social networking can be a negative influence in a young persons life, but it should be up to the individual to be responsible and not let that happen.

athena said...

What does this principal think he's protecting these kids from? Yes, social networking like Facebook and MySpace shouldn't be an activity to engage in during school but to ask the student's parents to eradicate it from their lives, is a little too extreme. The more restrictions that are put on students will only cause them the more to rebel.

Courtney Mariano said...

I can see why Principal Anthony Orsini is concerned with blocking social networking in order to stop cyber-bullying among the middle school students. I, however, disagree with his thinking and believe that he is completely out of line. In order to stop online bullying, he can inform parents and students of the negative consequences that can occur from social networking. But I definitely think that he has no right to tell parents to force their children to get off these sites and to monitor the students' text messages. This is an invasion of privacy, and it is not Orsini's place to impose.

Stephanie Ny said...

Yes, I understand the reasoning behind the principle's e-mail. However, I do not think it's appropriate for him to dig into the social and personal lives of the 700 students at his school. Social networking does not have solely negative effects; it encourages students to expand their networks and be more "social," hence the name "social networking." It helps students grow and learn from their mistakes (bullying and the anonymousness of formspring) - how else can they grow?

Patrick Li said...

We got our own freedom... mang. It wouldn't matter if he blocked it anyway. Proxies = win. It makes me mad because they blocked Youtube. Blocking Facebook is reasonable, but if they block Youtube. If you get bullied online you could probably just log off or cuss them out.

Joseph said...

I do not agree with the principal at all. Social networking sites are not even used to socialize most of the time. They are mostly used to play with apps. As for websites like Youtube, what would be one good reason to block Youtube? Bullying online only effects a few people anyway.

Darlena said...

I'm sure the principal has good intentions. However, simply banning social networking/media sites isn't going to solve anything. The problem isn't the websites, it's what young adults/teens are putting on the websites.
Eliminating social networking sites cuts off student interaction and attempts at communication. In this technologically advanced world, this means isolation. The principal should keep in mind that the websites are used for socializing and they allow students to communicate frequently.
Instead of banning social networking, I think the principal should encourage/promote cyberspace safety. He should warn students about the possible consequences of what they put on the internet and measures for safer web usage such as changing privacy settings.
This would satisfy parents, teachers and students.

Stefan said...
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Stefan said...

The principal is concerned about "Cyber-bullying", in other words, kids calling each other names, or hazing them. This would happen whether social networking existed or not, let alone the internet. I agree that parents should have a talk with their kids, but I think it should be to explain not to take insults seriously, and to brush it off, not saying to deny the existence of mean people. I also think it's funny that people consider "You suck" to be cyber bullying. There's much worse things out there.

www.somethingawful.com/

boards.4chan.org/b/

Welcome to the cesspools of the internet. It's blocked by the school for VERY good reasons.

Donnie said...

This is retarded! Let people live their life! There is a certain agae where children shouldnt be overally social networking but we all have to grown up sometimes. As this principal looks only on the negative aspects of the sites, he need to see the other side of things. Banning the sites at school is one thing but at home....naw. I can see that the principal is concerned, but he has to recognize the world he now lives in.

Terilyn said...

Cyber-bullying has been in the news for so long now, that it really isn't surprising for me to hear that this principal wants to ban social-networking sites. Recently, a teen committed suicide over it. People with social networking sites like formspring, etc don't have any control over what other people post on their pages. HOWEVER, I truly believe that banning it will do nothing to stop this kind of thing from happening. Mean people are still going to be mean- I think the point is to teach children boundaries about what to do/not do online and hope for the best.

Haley K. said...

The principal's approach to this situation reminds me of the process a hardcore drug addict faces when getting clean (I only know this from watching Celebrity Rehab w/ Dr. Drew). When the drug is completely swiped from the addict, their mind instantly reminds them how badly they are addicted, therefore causing them to relapse. Matter of fact, this scenario applies to any addiction, including the addiction to social networking. It is understandable that Mr. Otis feels students should not partake in social networking because of the recent tragedies, but it is absolutely absurd to completely retract this addiction from students. The principal should give parents and students the option to regulate the practice, but not completely remove it from their lives, avoiding a potential "relapse".

Indep_Elim_Y said...

I half agree and half disagree with the principle's statement. I can understand the principle's point-of-view saying that social network can cause harm. These kids are only in middle school, what do they have to connect for? In a way, I like our school internet blockage, in which sites such as Facebook and Myspace, are banned. If students were to be allowed to access these sites during school hours, especially not since most phone services provide internet on their phones, it be such distraction. However, I disagree with that fact that the principle wants to take it to the extreme, as in completely getting rid of the sites. Personally, I would set an age and time limit to access the sites.

Giselle said...

There have been many incidents that threatened the safety of teenagers, due to social networking sites. For this reason, I understand why the principal would feel the need to block such sites. However, because some social networking sites are frequently used in the professional world, I think the principal shouldn't have blocked all of them. It is important for students to learn how to use sites such as Gmail at a young age so they can master it. The principal is neglecting the fact that these sites can also be beneficial. I think the principal should block the sites that are completely not neccessarry for teenagers to know how to use, and have an assembly explaining the dangers of social sites and how to use them properly.

Julia Maniquiz! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia Maniquiz! said...

The principal's point of view is understandable, and I agree with his thinking - but only to a certain extent. True, social networking sights have proven to be the source of several high school-related issues. The principal, however, is in no right to request parents to invade their children's privacy. It comes down to an issue of self responsibility. We as individuals are responsible for our own actions and the consequences which stem from the decisions made. The principal cannot control that, nor should he attempt to. He must let the student body conduct their business as they please and learn to accept the aftermath of their actions. Parents should not be encouraged to distrust their offspring.

Chris Habash said...

This whole issue of the principal sending this email to parents seems way over-the-top. Sure, social media has its faults with "cyberbullying," but honestly, so what? There is a negative to every positive, and this principle clearly sees only the negative in one of the most significant tools of our generation. Psychological damage? Really? Maybe he should focus on taking action on physical bullying that goes on around America, and lay off the therapeutical advice, Dr. Phil.

I apologize this is so late.

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