We live in a world that largely depends on the internet. We connect with friends and family on a daily basis using all sorts of apps. We get our latest news updates from various forms of online media. In this ever-changing world of technology, our parents and teachers have been working to make sure their children are safe on the internet.

Aubrey Roemmich

Aubrey Roemmich

As a junior in high school, I’ve had my fair share of “safe use of social media” talks. This is especially true when looking at social media platforms like Facebook. While it’s a useful tool, it also becomes a breeding ground for fake identities, fake news and less-than-intelligent choices. Yet, it’s not only teenagers who can suffer from poor posting skills.

Ever since elementary school, it has been drilled into our heads what not to do on the internet. But what happens to adults who didn’t grow up using Facebook?

It’s my observation that the adults in our lives are making the simple, yet dramatic Facebook mistakes. Everything from sharing obvious fake articles to accidentally posting their entire camera roll, I’ve noticed the adults having these mishaps and it’s no surprise that they do.

Grandma no longer attends school, so who’s teaching her how to safely manage her Facebook account? Many times, this responsibility falls on children or grandchildren, but they aren’t always reliable.

To create a truly safe internet, simple talks that many students hear every year should be brought into all workplaces, nursing homes or anywhere where they can reach a large amount of people. These seminars should include basic skills like creating a strong password, learning to check if an article is credible and to never answer messages that claim you won the lottery.

This one change could radically improve how people use social media, by just helping them make the smartest decisions. After all, the internet isn’t slowing down, so why should we?

Aubrey Roemmich, 16, is a junior at St. Mary’s Central High School, where she is involved in Student Council, Future Business Leaders of America and speech. She enjoys reading and writing. Aubrey is the daughter of Jeremy and Christy Roemmich, who are members of Capital Electric Cooperative.