Lori Smith Delivers Speech on Social Media Safety to the Upper School

By Isabella Salvatori, ’23

TikToks and news clippings played in the Mills Auditorium as Lori Smith, a private school lawyer and mother of two Montverde Academy alumni, delivered her annual speech about social media safety to the Upper School students this week. Smith covered many points: cyberbullying, setting a positive athletic brand, school social media policies, gun-related posts, mental health and many other topics that teens across the world frequently misuse.

Smith describes a hateful post as “a bell you cannot unring.” She reassures that social media can, in turn, be used for good. By creating a positive brand through the outlet of the internet, this can reflect well on the creator and broadcasts a well-rounded individual that university admissions, programs and coaches look for. While posting and interacting safely on the internet is important, Smith reminds students to also be mindful of mental strains that media can cause as well: “Don’t be afraid to take charge of your social media.”

In a generation where so much free time is spent on the internet, documenting one’s recent activities on social media is very popular. However, many young users forget just how permanent their actions are on the web. It is enriching for teens to socialize and connect with their peers in a safe and positive environment for everyone. Smith continually keeps students educated about how their phone usage can impact their future admissions on the collegiate, societal and employment level.