College students thinking twice about social media use in light of Virginia lawmakers’ chaos

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NORFOLK, Va. - Students in college are thinking twice about their social media use following the political chaos in Richmond.

Some students told News 3 they can admit to making not-so-great decisions on social media in the past.

“It was something that was supposed to be private between me and that person,” Norfolk State University junior Kiara Mabry said.

Unfortunately, she’s seen firsthand the downside of what can happen once something is sent through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and text.

“It’s happened to me in the past a couple times, but now since I’m older and a little more cautious of things that’s going on in the world, I’m starting to be a little smarter,” Mabry said.

It’s a shared feeling most students told News 3 they're experiencing.

Even though it wasn’t captured during the social media age, they say the backlash from a 30-year-old racist photo surrounding Governor Ralph Northam, and Attorney General Mark Herring's admission of wearing blackface, speaks volumes.

“With anything, you can post something on social media and people can take in the wrong way and you may not mean it that way,” Monet Hinton said. “But everybody else doesn’t know that.”

Freshman Tiana Lewis told us that “being a business major, finance and accounting, I have to be aware of what I post for situations like this. I am very cautious of what I post and I try to limit.”

Students said one of the best things about social media is the ability to post and delete. However, a concern for many of them is that someone can screenshot their post before they have a chance to right a possible wrong.

“Some of the stuff I have posted it might have offended some people, but that’s because I wasn’t thinking about it,” Old Dominion University Brenna Craig said. “Of course, as soon as someone corrects me on something I do, I delete it or edit my description.”

That wasn’t an option for the picture in Northam’s yearbook.

With the scandal among Virginia’s top officials growing, students have mixed feelings on their roles moving forward.

“Nothing with blackface, KKK -- none of that was a joke back then, and it's still not a joke now,” Hinton said.

But NSU freshman Brandon Wilson disagreed. “There could be circumstances that happened between then and now that we don’t really know about, so it’s not exactly fair to judge him off of stuff in the past.”

A big concern for some people is what this means for the upcoming election.

They told us a lot of things are going to come out of what’s happening in Richmond right now.

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