Bear Witness

Editorial: The unspoken guidelines of social media

The opinion of the Bear Witness editors

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High school is often a student’s first introduction to romantic relationships, but it shouldn’t be a place where those are riddled with unnecessary pressures from your partner or outside influences.

When someone, often male, texts another student for pictures with little or no clothing, otherwise known as asking for nudes, it presents at its best an undesirable complication in school. Those pressured to send these pictures often risk those being shared to others without consent, causing immeasurable psychological and emotional distress.

Relationships are all about building and respecting boundaries, and being confident in your own body is okay. Being confident in your own sexuality is okay. Being comfortable enough to share things with someone else is okay.

However, students who request nudes of others, sometimes underage disregard someone’s privacy, and most of all, violate the trust and respect of their subject as a means to sexually objectify their peers. In the light of the law, this is an illegal practice, as asking for nudes of an underage teens represents the ownership of child pornography.

Relationships are full of choices, but respect is not an optional one. A person should never feel pressured or obligated to do something they don’t want to do. If they refuse to participate, that person should never have to feel held back or ridiculed for their own choices.

Bragging about the number of pictures collected to other peers is not okay. Making comments in the halls and similarly making comments online is not okay. Spreading rumors about how people choose to live their lives is not okay. Chasing people off social media sites is not okay. Feeling like you are only safe by turning all accounts to private is not okay.

It causes people to feel insecure with their bodies and with themselves in general. They could feel ashamed. A negative image of yourself can lead to anxiety, depression, and countless other problems.

The less comfortable a person feels with themself the less likely they are to ask for help.  

There are enough stresses that come with being a student, and the least we can do is be decent human beings to each other. Basic respect doesn’t mean everyone has to be friends with one another, nor does it mean that anyone is obligated to like everyone they meet; it simply means aiming to comfort and accept our peers.

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Editorial: The unspoken guidelines of social media