the "t" with Trinity: Better Technology, Horrible Connection

High school senior and Philadelphia Young Playwrights intern Trinity's take on Mouthful. 

We should always remember to focus on what’s important in the real world...!
— Trinity Williams


August 16, 2017:

Social Media. Get Connected.

On this episode of Mouthful, they talked about the good the bad and the scary things technology  has to offer. Students from The Academy of Palumbo were ‘experts’ on the topic. They taught Mitchell Bloom, the producer of Mouthful, everything about social media from “Snapchat streaks” to “Finstas”.

When asked how long the students spent on social media they stated they spend about 12 hours—that’s crazy!

Stephanie Humphreys, tech-life expert and creator of the seminar "'Til Death Do You Tweet" was the guest on the episode. Stephanie’s seminar works to educate students and parents on the negative consequences of social media behavior. On the podcast, she was the ‘therapist’ as she explained to Yvonne Latty everything about social media.

Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, etc. are taking up most of our time. Social media has allowed us to connect with billions of people around the world. With this connection, there are many opportunities that we have.  There are many great things about social media such as:

  • Finding Romance
  • Meeting New people
  • Finding a job
  • Sharing political beliefs

Social Media can also harm you in many ways. Over the past couple years social media has been a way to make people feel better about themselves. Youth today have been basing their popularity on how many likes they get and how many followers they have. Although social media is great in some case it also is bad in others. Things on social media like cyber bullying has increased due to huge growth in technology. Statistics by show:

  • 69% of teens own their own computer, cell phone, and use social media
  • 42% of youth are being bullied online
  • Girls in the age group of 14-16 year-olds text may send 100 messages a day
  • An average teen sends 60 text messages a day
  • Over 81% of teens admit that bullying is easier to get away with online
  • 20% of teens that are cyber bullied think about suicide
  • Only 1 of 5 cyber bullying incidents is reported to authorities

In August 2003, Myspace was founded. This was the first major social media site that hit high. Between the year 2003-2008, Myspace became very popular: 75.9 million people would visit it a month. But in 2008, Myspace led to the death of Hughstan Schlicker’s father. On February 9, 2008, Schlicker called 911 dispatch and told them he just shot his father with a shotgun. Days before the murder Hughstan’s father grounded him from Myspace. He did not plan to kill his father but, he knew if his father got in his way he would have to.

On the day of the murder, Hughstan called out of school using his father's voice and had planned to commit suicide. He explained to the police that if his father hadn’t come home before four pm that he wouldn’t have killed his father for not letting him update his account. But his father did come home before four--and Hughstan shot him. He later called his friend who told him to call the police. Hughstan was charged with murder in the first degree and was tried as an adult.

There are many more cases just like Hughstan’s, but this is an example of how social media can make you do crazy things.

Suicide: The 10th leading cause of death. The 2nd leading cause of death in teens.

With technology on the rise so is the rate of suicide. In March 2017, the Netflix series Thirteen Reasons Why was released. The series is about Hannah Baker, a sophomore in high school who is dealing with many things that most teenagers don't go through. Hannah begins to make tapes on why she decided to commit suicide. Each tape is about a new person who she felt lead her to commit suicide.

Since the series was released, searches for terms related to suicide has increased 19%—that is outrageous! The phrase ‘how to commit suicide’ increased 26%. The series has sparked a trend letting people know that suicide is okay—when it's not. This is another way social media and technology has influenced wrong behavior.  Suicide is never the answer and should be prevented every way possible.

With technology evolving, so is social media. We should always remember to focus on what's important in the real world world and not what's important on our phone!