Social media has been known as a way to communicate with friends, family, and even strangers. But some teens wouldn’t agree with social media being mixed with parents. Teenagers have their own reasons why they would block their parents on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites. Well, Kevin Lewis, 17, from the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, says he would feel very uncomfortable if his mother was aware of his tweets. Although they are friends on Facebook, Lewis doesn’t stream his personal thoughts, so his mother doesn’t really have much to say about his profile. Twitter is different. “I wouldn’t want to reveal the side of me I know she wouldn’t accept,” he says. Not all teens block their parents because of acceptance issues, though. Carolyn Neil, a junior at the O’Bryant, says she blocked her mother on Facebook because she wants a private life. Though there are plenty of teenagers who do not want their parents to have knowledge of their Internet activity, some teens do not mind. “I would feel comfortable if my father was aware of what I posted,” says Judy Siffra, a junior at the O’Bryant. “I have nothing to hide.”
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As a teenager, I’ve had many different types of relationships -- with adults, friends, boyfriends. I had many people come into my life and make it seem like they were there to stay -- only to end up leaving the same way they came in. One of the hardest things for me is being able to trust someone new with my feelings, my personal information, and most of all my heart. The fear of being emotionally hurt by someone you care about can really sting. Here are some tips on how to build that trust: •Don’t ignore problems; •Stay involved with each other’s feelings; •Don’t lie; •Don’t blame the other person; •Ask questions; •Don’t hide your thoughts inside; •Show loyalty.
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Many people believe the death penalty is a way of getting rid of society’s most dangerous criminals. Others believe it is a form of revenge for the families of victims and that it deters other murders. These feelings often come out after high-profile cases. However, sentencing offenders to death is not the answer. They know they are not going to spend the rest of their lives in a nasty jailhouse, which is worse. To them, death can be an easy way out. That is why many who go on shooting rampages kill themselves before the police get to them. Many people would argue that a mass murderer like accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, who is set to go on trial in November and faces the death penalty if convicted, should confront his demise because that is the kind of eye-for-an-eye punishment he deserves. But that would be granting him his wish because he was willing to put his life on the line for his cause. Life in prison would be a better sentence because then he has to live to pay for the pain and suffering he caused other people. I believe that killing killers is murder disguised as punishment. If murder is wrong, then why does the federal government kill people who commit murder? What is the difference between someone who commits murder and someone who punishes that person by killing that person? Another argument people make for the death penalty is that it eradicates the danger murderers pose to society. However, rapists and armed robbers also pose a threat to the public. A rapist could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and then go back to the streets, where he might again rape and possibly kill -- so his victim can’t identify him. Same reason armed robbers transform into murderers. The death penalty is too inhumane to be considered the shortcut to keeping our streets safe. Instead of sentencing people to death, the government should sentence dangerous criminals to life imprisonment with hard labor so that they are working to support the economy -- not taking away from it -- and at the same time paying for their crimes.
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Past generations have envisioned what our world would look like today. References to futuristic families like the Jetsons would come to mind, and many had figured that global serenity would have been achieved by now. This is not the case, as history repeats itself -- as with the ongoing violence against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) individuals that was exposed during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In a modern twist, perpetrators of these crimes would record their deeds on smartphones and share the images to further increase the victims’ humiliation. Assault, harassment, and discrimination are not surprising in Russia, as even the authorities have accepted this to be a social norm. The condemning of so-called “homosexual propaganda” that could be accessible to minors makes being gay even more difficult in that region, led by Russian President Vladimir Putin. A poll in April 2013 found that 47 percent of Russians believed that gays and lesbians should not have the same rights as heterosexuals. By contrast, America is generally more open to gay rights. I was raised to treat people the same way I would like to be treated. As such, I do not see this problem as a complex conundrum; I see it simply as treating one another with humanity. As English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon once said: “Knowledge is power.” The better informed people are about the brutality, prejudice, and hardships faced by the LGBT community, the more likely global equality can be achieved.
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