SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The deadly school shooting in Florida has started another national discussion about social media awareness and responsibility after it was revealed the alleged shooter made disturbing and violent comments online that went overlooked or ignored.
“Mostly everything online is, sometimes, mostly is a joke”, said local high school student Jesse Antunez.
Antunez says he spends several hours a day engaged in social media but doesn’t take much of what he reads or sees very seriously.
“There are funny pictures and stuff, like memes and stuff like that, funny videos”, Antunez said.
Central Coast school districts routinely invite law enforcement and expert speakers on campus to talk to students and parents about the potential dangers and impacts of social media and cyber-bullying.
“It’s hard because they have a lot of access to social media”, said parent Natasha Jones, “they are exposed to a lot of things that are not good.”
The Florida shooting rampage and loss of life is another reminder of what can happen when people are not paying attention to what they see or hear in the social media age.
“There’s a thing out there now that says if you see something, say something”, said local resident Curtis Gordon, “I think a lot of these kids are saying something, but it seems like nobody is listening, or if they are they are waiting too late to do something about it.”
“It falls on the parents, first and foremost”, Natasha Jones said, “parents have that responsibility and if they’re not getting that education or support at home, then yeah, I think it falls on the parents.”
“If its like a random meme or something, I don’t know if I could take that serious”, Jesse Antunez said, “but if I know its happening here or like locally and stuff, I probably would say something.”