Team Unplug's Message on the Power of Social Media
“Project Unplug is not about getting people to stop using their social media accounts,” Community Problem Solving team member and Canton High School senior Meryl Prendergast explains. “It's about getting people to take a step back and evaluate the role of social media in their lives. We have to start asking ourselves, does social media have a healthy place in society?”
Project Unplug is the 2016-2017 project of Canton High School students Shourik Choudhury, Sean Hanscom, Christine Lee, Dasol Lee, and Meryl Prendergast. They were inspired to start the project by the recent presidential election, which made them aware of the changing role of social media and the concept of fake news. Their main goal for this year is to raise awareness among their peers and in the larger community about the growing power of social media.
CHS senior Christine Lee says, “There are so many fake stories all over the Internet, some of which are entertainment stories about celebrities or whatnot that don't have any really serious implications.” Senior Sean Hanscom chimes in, “But others are dangerous and can affect people’s perceptions of significant issues in extremely negative ways.” They explain that they hope to educate their peers on exercising caution while perusing their social media accounts, on the importance of asking the question, can I truly believe this information?
Team Unplug asks that Canton residents take the survey on their Facebook page “Team Unplug” to help them gather information on the use of social media. They also request that Canton citizens share the survey with others on their social media accounts. Sophomore Shourik Choudhury explains, “The survey is not only our way of collecting information but also our way of demonstrating the power of social media. Through social media, something can spread really quickly, from Canton to places outside our town to states across the U.S.”