Back to school activities should include social media awareness

  • Published
  • By Vera Ensalaco
  • 445th Airlift Wing Director of Psychological Health

August means back to school for many of us. Either we have children going back to school or we’re taking classes ourselves. With that comes hitting the books though in today’s world, there is technology in addition to books. Within that, there is social media.

While social media has its benefits, there is a possibility of misinformation. Some of the positives are that it increases communication speed; connects us in regard to student progress, school happenings or a threat/crisis; and publicizes accurate information.  

The risks of social media can be cyberbullying, negative postings, inaccurate information and rumors. This can spread rapidly, and the effects from the distortion of truth can be long-lasting even while eventually being discounted. All this can have a profound effect on mental and emotional well-being.

This is our reality. We must look at ways that we can safeguard ourselves and our loved ones. One way we can do this is to use applications on our smartphones or computers to include increased privacy settings and parental controls.

Become familiar with school or your community organizations that can offer support and address concerns that you may encounter. Prioritize what is important to you and communicate with your loved ones about your expectations and concerns.

A social media cheat sheet published by Mental Health America lists the current sites, demographics, privacy and considerations and can be found at: