Used in a responsible way, social networking can have tremendous benefits for teenagers and adults like. But the potential drawbacks of careless, irresponsible, or reckless use are very real.

Morgan Park Academy teachers in the Upper School discuss this during classes and advisory meetings. Also, we have annual assemblies followed up by discussions regarding responsible social networking. offers several helpful suggestions students should keep in mind when using social media. Here are a few of my favorite tips:

Students should always remember that anything posted on the internet could potentially be seen by the world. Even if your profile is set to private, a friend can always download and save what you post and that could be used against you in the future. Also, a completely private profile can set off a red flag for colleges or employers.

Bullying is one of the most serious social problems in schools today and cyber-bullying has been on the increase the past several years. Cruel treatment and hateful words between students, whether fully public or semi-private, can lead to many negative outcomes.

Seniors should be careful not to negatively post about specific colleges or geographical areas as admissions officers frequently investigate the social media activity and personalities of applicants. One negative post could seal the fate of your college acceptance.

Social media is never the place to vent your frustrations. You should always think twice before you post anything on a social networking site. If you are upset about anything, it would be a good practice to always reflect about why you are upset and to talk with your parents or a counselor about your concerns. Your social media presence needs to reflect responsibility at all times.

By Tom Drahozal

Mr. Drahozal is the Upper School principal. He also teaches history and coaches our varsity baseball and girls’ basketball teams.