The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

Should LT promote social media?

LION staffers debate whether social media should be promoted at LT.

November 11, 2021

Expand social media use in our school’s curriculum

Social media is inevitable. Whether it’s used in school or not, almost every teenager uses it in some way, so why not use it to your advantage? Social media platforms are used everywhere now to grow businesses, promote products, and spread awareness. As one of the social media editors for the LION, promoting the paper’s online presence on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok has done wonders for awareness and popularity of the paper among students. 

Social media pages for the school encourage school spirit, send out important messages, and promote upcoming events. LT has always had a presence on social media, but even more so now, as it is encouraged by our new principal, Dr. Jennifer Tyrell. We have an entire Instagram page dedicated to our school (@lths204), with around 2,000 followers. Our own principal has over 1,600 active followers on Instagram (@jtprincipal). It is true that upcoming events and club meetings are announced every day at school, and emails may be sent out. Still, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m more likely to check my Instagram feed than my school email. 

Didn’t catch Friday night’s football game? Want to know how the girls golf or tennis team is doing? One simple click on the @LTHS_Athletics profile on Twitter, and you are sure to be updated about how LT sports teams are doing. Clubs have their own social media pages too, spreading information about upcoming meetings and advertising events. These pages aren’t just for students: frequent updates on the schools status on social media also keeps parents and guardians informed, as well as alumni.

It’s time to have a reality check. Whether you like it or not, social media platforms are the future of information, news and promotions. It’s time that schools use it to their advantage to further reach out and connect with their students. This is the way that schools can reach their students. Not some failed campaign at a scratching attempt to relate to what “the kids are into these days.” The kids are on social media! I know that I find it more engaging to see selfies of my principal actually interacting with students at an event, rather than hearing about it the next day. Dr. Tyrell’s numerous photos of her with other students on social media emphasize her frequent connections with students at these events. Maybe you follow the @lthsweirdos on Instagram, where you will find masterpieces of videos used to hype up LT’s student sections before big games. 

The LION has over 1,000 followers on our Instagram (@ltlionnewspaper). By having the opportunity to promote the paper on social media, it has offered me experience and an outlet to get creative, and really brainstorm how to reach people. I have learned design skills from creating posters and QR-codes to promote our social media. It’s not only me—most clubs have student-run social media accounts that offer  students similar experiences and platforms to manage a larger following. Social media is the future, so learning skills on how to manage social platforms are really important. Especially considering that almost every company has some sort of presence on social media, and now has professional positions with the title of “Social Media Manager.”

Using social platforms to promote clubs, events and sports is quick and uncomplicated. With the tap of a button, you have updated hundreds of followers that your club meeting on Wednesday has been cancelled, or that you can catch a team playing a home game on Thursday night. Using social media at LT gives our school the opportunity to really relate to its students by accessing something that is popular among them. Social media is in-style, and is a fast way to reach a large audience, which makes it the perfect platform for schools to utilize; we should expand upon it as long as we can.

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Put an end to social media in school programs

With social media everything is at our fingertips. Yes! We can learn almost anything about anyone, there’s science, the arts, and love.  We have endless opinions to sift through, and a forever continuing stream of consciousness right in front of us and it’s all a click away. We’ve won! We did it.

Yet at the same time we have nothing. We’re binded to our devices. Never to be free from them. No longer is the true human experience. Relationships have morphed into sharing a smile in person and telling your deepest secrets online. None of it is real anymore. There’s an ache inside all of us to be freed from it. An ache that will never be soothed–especially as long as schools continue to utilize social media.

Social media is cyclical. Students go on the internet and are left with an empty feeling from every other aspect of their life. If we continue to be tied to social media throughout school, there’s no doubt students will find other ways to use it to fill the void. They will find obsessions that pull them away from the real world until their truest identity exists only online. This pulls away from the joy of a real human experience. An experience that schools should be pushing their students to find. 

In an effort to find freedom, a student might delete Instagram. But then they won’t know when the next Sustainability Club meeting is. This is a club they found through social media. They know what’s happening in the club without even attending a single meeting because it’s posted on social media. They can’t delete Instagram now: they need it to know about clubs. 

All the information they would have learned is right in front of them, erasing the true human experience. They show up to the club as an expert on who is there and what they’re doing. There’s no point in going through life knowing what you’re doing before you do it. Life is about making mistakes, and with social media removing that, it becomes inauthentic. Useless. They’ll never create unbiased emotional connections, and learn about the world from a teacher that has spent their life studying it. They instead ache to feel fulfilled by even the most basic of human activities of joining a new group. 

Something is horribly wrong, but students, through no fault of their own, are addicted. Most students push social media as much as possible in an effort to find the good that must exist in the void they feel. They deny the fact that what’s on social media is meaningless by posting about the most serious aspects of life, but this only expands the void. If we take school and put it into social media, it just makes everything we do more empty. It converts our clubs and sports into a series of posts that become meaningless. Students have converted real memories into manufactured ones to look good on social media. 

Social media seemed like a good idea in the 90’s, but as it’s grown, it’s become a constant stream of anything and everything that it has inevitably lost it’s desire, and become nothing. The whole world is in the palm of our hands, but it’s never enough: it’s dust. 

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