Young women at the Mary Louis Academy high school in Queens, NY are cleaning up their digital acts today, erasing any traces of risky, hurtful and inappropes personal online content — what senior Christin Hu calls our “Internet footprint” — for the first ever Delete Day.
Students designed the event after Critical Issues for Girls organized a conference there addressing increased instances of harassment and offense online. “Nobody wants to hurt others, and nobody wants to be seen as a bad person,” sophomore Jamie Sweeney says. “However, we realized that simply by clicking a ‘like’ button or posting a photo, we can be doing just that, even unintentionally.”
If you’re tempted to brush it off as inapplicable to you — hey, your Facebook friends share your sense of humor, right? — trust and believe it’s not all about you. How you interact online has a trickle-down effect shaping the way young kids experience interpersonal relationships.
Lauren Alvarez, a senior at the Academy, has a 16-year old sister, and says, “I worry about what she ‘thinks’ is cool and okay to put on the Internet. … [Kids] try to act older by posting certain inappropriate pictures and writing comments that are derogatory, but in reality, it makes them look more immature and foolish.”
It’s easy to start a Delete Day at your school — and even easier to draw a line right now through A Thin Line. You can make moves to defend your digital domain and take a stand by putting your own actions on the Draw Your Line map.
Jamie Sweeney puts it perfectly: “My life is my message, and your life is your message. As long as social networking remains a part of our lives, we have to make sure that all of our online activities reflect the messages we want to send.”
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