Social media tips for parents: What should I share? School officials offer advice to prevent spreading rumors

SALISBURY, Md. – It’s something we use almost every day whether we’re aware of it or not. The power of social media connects us to our friends and families across the world, and even lets us share life events, achievements and more. And while it gives people the opportunity to post almost anything they want, it opens a door to a darker side of social media..

“It’s a double-edged sword. Technology gives us great information, and sometimes that information is not true,” said psychologist, Dr. Samantha Scott.

After a number of rumors were spread at James M. Bennett High School following a bomb threat, Wicomico County Public School officials are giving parents a breakdown of social media 101: When you should and shouldn’t share a post.

“We recently had an incident where people were saying that the police were taking a bomb and guns and things out of the school, and none of that even happened. We’ve got to be very careful not to share things like that unless we know for sure that it’s true,” said Director of Communications for Wicomico Public Schools, Paul Butler.

Officials say they do understand the panic that often follows when parents hear about a possible dangerous situation occurring at their child’s school.

“Your immediate reaction is anxiety and fear and how do I get more information,” said Scott.

But they warn that not everything you hear is often the truth.

“Most conversations that happen between kids and especially teenagers are like playing telephone. If you’re getting information from your child, there’s a good chance that it has come from many different people, and changed along the way,” said Scott.

So what exactly should you do before you hit that share button?

“What we ask is don’t share that, unless you know for certain that it’s true. If you see something on Facebook, call the school, call the board of education, find out exactly what’s going on,” said Butler.

And they say by doing so, it will save everyone from unnecessary fear and confusion.

Categories: Local News, Maryland