How to: Politics

A complete guide explaining how to navigate yourself through politics at DHS

By Tyler Valentine

Politics have been a sensitive topic of conversation at DHS recently. There are people whose new trigger word is Trump, and other people that will take the excitement of him winning the election to their grave. It seems as if people are having trouble sharing their opinion without offending others or just taking it to unnecessary extremes. If we can all follow these three simple steps, our school will become a much more enjoyable place to be, and we could bring social media back to better times

Step 1: Sharing your opinion

Liberals:

Guys, we get it, Hillary lost, our country is doomed and the world is more likely than not going to burst into flames. Seriously though… it’s been two months. It’s time to get over it and accept, despite your hashtags, Donald Trump is your president. People want to hear you cry about that just as much as you want to hear people celebrating about Trump

Conservatives:

Congratulations, Donald Trump has won the election and is now the most powerful man in the world. We are all very aware of this. So, just like the Hillary supporters, feel free to stop celebrating anytime now. How would you feel if Hillary had won and her supporters were still talking about

Step 2: Social media

Liberals:

The best way to go about politics on social media is to just keep the two completely seperate. I’m sorry to break it to you, but seeing someone tweet things such as “#NotMyPresident” annoys the majority of your followers just as much as when you see someone retweeting Cloyd Rivers.

Conservatives:

Now I’m not totally against the Cloyd Rivers account. Some of it is positive things about veterans that nobody minds reading. It’s seeing my timeline full of Cloyd Rivers that angers me. Don’t play dumb. We all know the difference between good tweets and ones meant to piss someone off.

Step 3: Accepting other opinions

Liberals:

Remember the Golden Rule? One of the first things we were taught way back in kindergarten? Well, if not, it stated: “Treat others how you wish to be treated.” I’m sorry to say it, but the liberals seem to be the ones that are the least accepting of political opinions. I know they’re always preaching about how we all should be accepting of race, religion, etc. yet continue to ridicule conservatives for what they believe in. I may be wrong, but that seems pretty hypocritical to me.

Conservatives:

Conservatives, don’t think you’re off the hook with the whole Golden Rule idea. I see how you try to play victim for the liberals judging you based on your opinion, yet you do the same thing. In the end, we are all the same, judgemental people with views that slightly differ from one another. So how about instead of criticizing each other we look at ourselves first.

We all just need to take a deep breath and chill on the politics, both on social media and just in general. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I would like nothing more than to have a politics-free social media and school environment. Let’s all just be more accepting of each other’s beliefs and maybe take a second to see them for more than just their face value. If you think you’re right and anybody that doesn’t think exactly like you is wrong, please, for the well-being of everyone around you, keep it to yourself.

“Finstas” Necessary or No?

OUR VIEW: Fake Instagram Accounts Aren’t neccessary, but still worthwhile

For those who do not know or did not see, an article regarding posting on social media was published in the Squall. This article referenced how posting two times a day isn’t ideal for an instagram account.

Enter the finsta.

Some students already know what these “finstas” are, but for those who don’t know, it is a compound word that, when separated, means fake instagram. This new phenomenon has swept many of the normal, daily instagram users. These daily users now have their main account, which is referred to as an “insta” or “rinsta” (rinsta means “real instagram”), where only nice pictures get posted.  Then they have their finsta, which serves a different purpose. In all, most see finstas as unnecessary and is proof that our generation is “too caught up in technology”. I mean they aren’t wrong when saying they aren’t necessary; however, they are a fun new branch of social media.

On a finsta, students can post whatever isn’t deemed insta worthy as often as they want (some rules apply).  You are allowed to post whenever you want.  A creation of a finsta is to merely appease close friends, and because of the content that some finstas contain, it is often purposely kept that way.  Finsta accounts typically remain private, meaning the user controls who follows their account, to prevent the embarrassing pictures from reaching unworthy eyes.  The common teenager takes endless selfies and pictures, so when only a few of those hundred pictures are considered insta worthy, the user becomes overwhelmed with the excessive number of unposted pictures.  With a finsta, students no longer have to keep their embarrassing, entertaining, and random pictures to themselves.

Instas are a different beast. The user only posts their best pictures once a week, and the goal is to get as many likes possible. The focus of a finsta is to share informal pictures with friends.  While the focus of instas are to share nice, quality pictures.  In terms of followers, the more followers a student has on their insta account the better. A majority of users are obsessed with the number of followers they have. The slogan for instas is “the more the better”.  This contradicts to a finsta which has no ideal follower count or like count.

Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, finstas are definitely not necessary and they show how intertwined our generation is with technology.  In the past, users used to never show unworthy pictures, but as students became more attached to technology, they find ways to become more involved with social media.  Having a finsta is in no way detrimental, they are a fun way to keep students connected with each other outside of school hours, but they still aren’t necessary.

Finstas are just the product of students trying to cling to a new internet fad.

Social Norms Of Social Media

The key to improving your social media reputation

By Caden Koenig

When MySpace was released in 2003, it started a craze of social media. Today, MySpace is no more, a mere dinosaur of technology. At first, the new, countless different social networks ran amuck with no rules. The lawlessness lingers to this day. But for the average person, there are some unspoken rules when using the big three (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter); the social norms.

As each social network has become popular, there are now different rules on how to conduct yourself upon these individual networks to blend into the norm.

Double posting, depending on what network, can be a dangerous game.

Let’s start with Instagram. If you have not found out yet, many people are adamant about not posting twice in a day in fear of judgment of another follower’s opinion. This has now evolved into a rule about double posting. Now double posting is few and far between on Instagram unless it comes from one’s spam account (which we’ll will talk about more later). A frequent poster on Instagram will be seen with a new post maybe 3-5 times a week, which is still daring. Maybe the reason is that the post is a photo and not as common as a concise, typed up representation of your thoughts.

Spam accounts are a new fad in the Instagram world that seem to defy these rules. Spam accounts break most social norms because they are the account only a select few are allowed to follow (since most are private) and they are used to post, rant, and even flaunt new apparel. The majority of posts that make it to one’s spam feed are full of photos people consider not good enough for their real Instagram account but good enough to share on social media.

Next is Twitter. There is no judgment placed upon multiple tweets or retweets in a day. Many prefer this to tweeting rarely. This norm does not apply as much to Twitter because a simple tweet does not make as many waves as a picture most likely elaborately filtered and edited before being posted.

As the first norm now hits the last of the big three, Facebook, the rule appears nonexistent. Now that it is common knowledge that parents have taken over Facebook, posts of any sorts in any quantity are welcomed by the caring parents that grasp onto the new technology.

Next, there are the minor rules that, for the most part, go unnoticed or unfollowed. These include following-to-follower ratio, excessive commenting/ retweeting, or the normal posting hours.

Many find the “ratio,” as it is commonly referred to, as not much of a rule, but rather a way to flaunt your status of how cool or interesting others think you are on your social network. Really, this means nothing. Disregard it because anybody who wants followers can get them and you can follow as many people as you want.

Next is excessive commenting or retweeting. It is not necessarily frowned upon to be so active, but the constant retweeting of unnecessary videos or commenting inside jokes you have between the commenter and the poster may agitate a few.

The recommended posting hours are usually somewhere in the afternoon to night time (roughly 2-8 p.m.). Posting sometime in this time period will most likely get you the most likes and activity out of your followers.

Double posting, depending on what network, can be a dangerous game.

No matter the judgment one may receive from being active and posting to entertain all of their followers, this norm trumps all: no politics.

Never, ever, ever should the average person discuss their political views on social media. While some people probably enjoy reading this type of post, trouble always comes from it on all three platforms.

Talking politics leads to arguments between people who would never dare say the things they are posting if they were face to face. Truthfully, and frankly, few people really care. It is your opinion and you stand by it, but all your followers don’t have to have the same opinion. It’s like the old saying that people would tell each other before you could argue about it behind a screen, “Never talk about money, religion, or politics.”

Following these recommendations will boost and most likely improve your social media reputation.

asking.for trouble

Being called “slut,” “whore,” and pregnant have lead senior Eden Krull to completely delete all posts off her ask.fm wall. She has now been off of the site for over a month.

“I think it’s dumb,” she said of ask.fm. “But I don’t give a crap about (the things that were said about me) because it was anonymous. It was probably just one or two people who don’t like me.”

Ask.fm, a social media website which was launched on June 16, 2010, allows people to ask anonymous questions to each other. Users can then answer questions that they have been asked of them. These answers then become viewable to the public.

Questions can also be asked to a specific person with the option of anonymity, but all of the user’s followers can view the question and the answers to it.

The anonymous nature of the site seems to be the problem according to Assistant Principal Ken Koenig.

“The problems are not constant,” Koenig said. “They just tend to pop up. In general, they mostly come up at the beginning of the school year. People have less time to be directly social so the turn to social media.”

As for counselor Craig Rafail, “Ask.fm is the latest edition of of social media that is used for inappropriate conversation. For ask.fm users, they know bullying is a part of it. So the question is why sign up for an account?”

Krull says that she chose to get an account because “everyone did it and I thought it would be a good idea.”

After using the site for only 2 weeks Krull says she no longer accesses her account although she has not deleted it. “It was not worth it to get it originally. It is so dumb, I don’t even know why that site exists.”

According to Rafail this is the right thing to do.  In fact, he said if a student signs up for an ask.fm account, they are “accepting and participating in the bullying.”

“You have to block them or shut it down,” he said of bullies on sites such as ask.fm. “It creates situational depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. A trend coming from mental health professionals is recommending you don’t get an account like this.”

Koenig agrees and said he wishes students would realize that they do not have to respond to what is asked to them. They can simply ignore or delete the questions or comments which were directed towards them if they are inappropriate. They they will not go public thus avoiding the problem.

“The issue with the bullying lies in the maturity level of the people on the social media site, both the people who are putting out the mean comments and those that are letting them appear on their profile,” Koenig said. “They need to just use good judgement and not get themselves into potentially bad situations.”

Even with all of the problems surrounding the site, there are still many students who continue to use it such as junior Kimi Camara. Camara said one of the main things that appeals to him about the site is the ability to look at other people’s drama from the outside.

“I check (the site) a couple of times a day,” he said. “I think it is fun to watch what people ask each other questions because it’s funny. The site is intense. People really go hard, and I enjoy being a spectator to that.”

People who do this are a major part of the problem in Rafail’s opinion, “Ask.fm users know bullying is a part of it. (They) let the bullies be heard.”

But according to Businessweek.com, the approximately 60 million users on ask.fm will have to adapt to changes that have been made to the site. Ask.fm recently released an update which makes it easier to report inappropriate behavior as well as allow users to opt out of receiving anonymous questions. They would then only receive questions when the questioner identifies themselves.

Businessweek.com also reported that these changes are in response to the suicide of a  British teenager who had a lot of messages directed toward him in a negative manner. A statement on the blog Techcrunch reported that ask.fm is going to hire more staff in order to try to monitor and stop problems with bullying on this site.

Following these changes Krull says, “Nobody uses it anymore, It’s already dying so it won’t last much longer.”

As for anybody who is thinking of getting an ask.fm in the future Krull says, “Don’t do it because it’s dumb and it’s a pathway for bullying.”

Bump, set, sign

Before hitting the court, all players in the volleyball program have to sign a social media contract prohibiting them from posting hurtful comments about the team, fellow players and opponents.

The contract is a replica of the contract the University of Michigan uses for its women’s volleyball team.

“At the old school I coached, people would write untrue things about their teammates to get them kicked off,” Days said. “I just don’t want to see that again. I wanted to put guidelines in place for the team to follow.”

Day is helping her athletes prepare for the future by teaching them to respect the permanency and prominence of social media. Volleyball player August Bishop recognizes the benefits.

“I actually like the idea behind the contract,” she said. “Our whole team supported it.”

Social media contracts such as these aren’t uncommon in high school sports due to the increasing prominence of social media in high school life.

Head varsity football coach Ken Koenig gave his team distinct rules to follow throughout the season. Positive or negative, every electronic comment toward the Dexter football program had to be posted only on the Dexter Football Touchdown Club Facebook page.

If a player violates this social media restriction, he is suspended for a game.

“If you’re going to say it, it should be something that can be read by everybody,” Koenig said.

He said he wants his team to make their decisions based on the acronym C.H.I.P.: Character, Honor, Integrity, and Pride.

“CHIP is the filter that our guys should run their ideas through,” he said.

But there are some sports teams that don’t feel social media poses a significant threat.

The women’s varsity basketball team doesn’t have a social media contract in effect. According to Assistant Coach Lauren Thompson, the coaching staff doesn’t think such a contract is necessary.

“We feel like our players respect our wishes on social media,” she said. “We think that they do a pretty good job of representing us in the right way. We have a good relationship with our players, and we trust them. They understand the expectations we have for them.”

However, even with its positive attitude, the basketball team isn’t immune to social networking scandals.

“We’ve had to not start players before,” Thompson said. “We don’t have any tolerance for any kind of negative social media stuff about our team or our opponents. Part of being a part of our program is to have high standards for ourselves, and they understand that we carry ourselves a certain way.”

Despite not having a concrete social media contract in place, basketball players still face consequences for any inappropriate social networking. Thompson encourages her girls to act respectably.

“We try to keep things as positive as we can,” she said. “Obviously we can’t control what our girls tweet and facebook about, but we want them to be as positive about us and our opponents as we can. If we see something that’s negative that they’re Tweeting or Facebooking, there are definite team consequences.”

Social media didn’t used to exist. Now its role in sports is rapidly increasing, with athletes constantly having to keep emotions under control in their social lives.

Dexter High School Athletic Director, Mike Bavineau, fears that students use social media without considering the repracautions of their posts. Bavineau believes putting guidelines in place is a smart way to get athletes in the habit of thinking before posting.

“My biggest priority is to educate kids on what they need to know and how social media will impact them eventually. As for contracts, I think the coach has to lay the expectations down for each of their individual teams and how they want their programs to run, so if they decide that they want their teams to have a contract, I support that,” Bavineau said.