Let’s Fight After School

Emily Owens, Editor-in-chief

It’s not all fun and games.

It was the middle of my freshman year. I routinely walked into health class. In the corner of my health class I saw my friend. Her head was between her knees, and her arms were crossed over her face so that her sobs were muffled and barely audible. I knelt down beside her and let her know I was there.

“People think I am a dumb blonde…”, she said.

I asked her who said that.

“That’s the thing, I have no idea. All I know is that someone said it, and it got more than a hundred likes. Am I really that dumb?”

This was my very first encounter with the After School app. This app embarrassed and bullied classmates and friends for about two months before it was buried for good; or so I thought.

I’m a senior now, the After School app has not crossed my mind since freshman year. Things we let slip often recur in sudden lies.

On February 1 in my Microeconomics class we finished early and Mr. Pierce Mumaw gave us some downtime. Eager to finally talk, I turn to one of my classmates. I saw her face and it was full of shock. I asked her what was wrong. She turned her phone over to me.

Someone had started a rumor about her. A terrible rumor. This was when After School made its unpleasant re-entry back into the lives of myself and my classmates.

Here we go again.

It has been proven many times that students are more likely to be mean to others through social media platforms than through face-to-face interactions, according to the Megan-Meier Foundation. So instead of stealing lunch money, new-era bullies use social media to rub in insecurities of others in order to mute their own. I get it, social media pressures you to show others you know what’s in or you have an increasing amount of clout.  In light of eternity, does it even matter?

Social media is associated with mental health problems, which includes depression, sleep disturbances, and eating concerns, among young adults, according to the Journal of Adolescent Health. Why make it worse? If you honestly want to say something mean to someone, don’t be a coward and sit behind a screen and say it. Go to that person, and have enough dignity to say it to their face.

I don’t understand how seniors think it is acceptable to conjure up rumors about their peers for a couple of laughs. You make these rumors about your so-called “friends”, and it makes them feel bad about themselves. That is not what friends do.

I understand that you are only kidding, and your intention is to mean no harm. However, harm was done. All of the underclassmen are not in your inside jokes and they probably don’t understand that it’s a joke. I just think it was immature to start up something that causes pain to others, just for you to laugh. This is border-line psychotic, and unquestionably selfish. It doesn’t matter that you won’t remember it in a year, or ten years. What if the people who you made rumors about do remember? You’re responsible.

The After School app is stupid and should be taken down right away. I also think whoever started making rumors up about people on this meaningless app should be ashamed of themselves.

Were the laughs worth it?