Schumann, Szeghy Talk With Holy Trinity Students On Use Of Social Media

This sign on a wall of the seventh grade classroom said it all, and this was true well before the days of social media: “Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch you actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become character. Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.”

Now that social media is a part of everyone’s life it is even more important.

Xavier seniors Alex Schumann and Jack Szeghy, like others their age, have grown up in a world dominated by social media.

Good thing? Bad thing? Depends on how you use it is what they told sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Holy Trinity School in Wallingford on Thursday morning. The school reached out to Xavier asking if some students could talk to the Holy Trinity students about the use of social media.

So Schumann and Szeghy, not all that far removed from the age of some of the Holy Trinity students, started their school day at another school, using a power point presentation in the background as they talked with the students.

Social media can stifle human interaction, promote bad behavior, lower productivity, involve cyberbullying. That is some of the downside, they said.

Yet it can allow one to connect with friends, talk about a school project, build a personal digital photo album, bring family and friends into your life when they can’t be there in person. That is some of the upside.

So it’s up to you.

“When we let social media control our behavior, it is not healthy,” Szeghy told the students. “When we can’t put our phones down to do our homework, that’s an issue.”

So Szeghy resists that temptation by turning off his phone and not even keeping it in the same room. Schumann says he will give his phone to his mother when he knows there’s no room for distraction.

At one point Schumann reminded the students that was gets put out on social media is there forever. Someone can always find it, and it may come back to haunt you, damage your reputation, maybe even cost you a job.

Another point made by the pair: social media can become a positive place to relax or it can become a toxic place.

As they left each classroom, the Holy Trinity students showed their appreciation with “thank you” and applause. That’s being polite, showing respect, which of course is how you want someone to act not only in person but when he or she is behind a computer screen or on their phone.

After Schumann and Szeghy had left the school, Principal Michael Frechette emailed Xavier: “The topic of social media is so important and we need to make sure our folks understand the pros and cons! Our students learned a great deal and you should be proud of Alex and Jack. They did a wonderful job and related beautifully with our students and faculty.”