OPINION: The consequences of social media

We can learn a lot from Logan Paul’s lapse of judgment. You know the story: the 22 year-old vlogger who ventured to Japan’s Suicide Forest where he found the body of a man who committed suicide. Being the vlogger he is, he took a video of the scene and uploaded it to YouTube.

The video was pulled off YouTube, but not before it received over six million views. Following that, Paul made a self-serving apology on Twitter causing a flood of backlash from users all over the social media sphere.

It took too long for Paul to apologize on his channel, and for YouTube to cut ties with his account. The company should be monitoring its users’ content creation more closely.

My biggest problem with this story is that the whole situation could have been avoided. I’ve been following this story since it began and it has made me cringe ever since. I have two words for you, Logan Paul: common sense.

Paul is a charismatic personality with over 15 million subscribers. Like him or not, he is influential. I just wish he used his persuasion and platform more responsibly.

So how did this happen? We live in a world where we can post whatever we want, whenever we want, without a thought in the world.

Ignorance is bliss, right? Wrong.

Many people do not realize that there are repercussions for everything they post – every tweet, opinion, video, and sound bite. And they never go away, period. So if you create deplorable content that makes you look really bad, there’s no erasing it. I think Logan Paul missed that mark big time.

For all of you out there who have your own YouTube channels, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, vlogs, blogs and whatever else that exists, please consider these tips that could save you so much strife later.

DO’S

DO contribute to the conversation in a positive way. You have a voice, so why not use it for the good of humankind? Something as simple as this can make a difference in the world.

Suicide is a serious global issue that affects about one million people annually. If you ever need to talk to someone, or know someone who needs help, use these resources:

-Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

-Self Harm Hotline: 1-877-455-0628

-Toronto Distress Line: 416-408-4357

-Toronto Survivor Support Program: 416-595-1716

DO be kind. It looks good on your character and as the saying goes: “You attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.”

DO remember that your choices affect not only you, but others too and you never know who will be seeing your posts.

DO think before you post. Once something is out there, it never disappears. As a student, it is very important to remember this because the first place employers fact-check their candidates now is through their social media accounts.

DO respectively post what interests you and your audience.

DON’T’S

DON’T sensationalize heavy topics and images. We all want the most powerful content, but there are lines that should not be crossed.

DON’T fall under the Donald Trump Syndrome and fight with others. In the end, who ever wins? (Hint: nobody does.)

DON’T forget who you are. We all come from different walks of life, and we all have different stories to tell and different opinions to share.

DON’T assume anything. Try to make sure you can back up what you say with facts or proof.

DON’T spam your followers with memes. Please don’t.

In this generation, we want our “15 Minutes of Fame.” Fine. Live and let live. But, when this idea of fame becomes a top priority, we sometimes forget that there are reactions to every action we make. And sometimes, others get annoyed and hurt as a consequence. This needs to change.

And it starts with us.

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