NC students turn to social media to deal with tragedies

NC students turn to social media to deal with tragedies (Image 1)

 Teenagers dealing with back-to-back tragedies in in the Triangle area are turning to social media to cope.

Students at Panther Creek, Rolesville and Heritage High Schools are just some who are using Twitter hashtags to connect and grieve.

Panther Creek High School senior Tre’ Sullivan has been tweeting with friends about the death of fellow student Laura Yost last week. Yost died in the hospital from injuries she sustained in a car crash while on the way to school.

Sullivan’s tweets included a picture of one of his football cleats on which he wrote #PrayForLaura on the side.

“I think Twitter and Facebook and all that has really made it easier for people to write,” Sullivan said. “It’s a digital diary for anyone to see and when people put their feelings out there like that, then other people put their feelings out there. They know it’s okay.”

Child psychologist Kristen Wynns, of Wynns Family Psychology, agreed. Wynns said tweeting about tragedy is a high-tech version of old-fashioned bonding, but she said parents should still play close attention.

“Especially during a time like this, they do want to monitor the content just to make sure they don’t see any red flags that might suggest their child is really slipping into a more severe depression where they might want to get professional help,” Wynns said.

Rolesville High School students also took to Twitter with a photo of a morning prayer circle, following the death of star offensive lineman Isaiah Langston. He collapsed on the field Friday and died Monday morning.

Sullivan even tweeted messages of support as a competitor on the field, now brought together by tragedy.

“And it’s something that no one deserves to go through, but it’s good to know that we can help them and they can help us,” Sullivan said.

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