“What’s the Right Thing To Do?” is a monthly column featuring ethical dilemmas with responses from students in the Greater Boston area. I am aware of the daily dilemmas students face and this column, of interest to both students and their parents, helps people openly discuss these issues and bring these ethical discussions we all face to the forefront. This concept is especially timely because we are faced with very challenging ethical dilemmas, which are even more prevalent now because of the power and influence of social media.

You are excited to post all over social media pictures from your birthday with all your friends. One of your friends tells you not to post them because she lied to another friend saying she was home because she didn’t want her to feel excluded. What’s the right thing to do?

“Personally, I would take into consideration the circumstances of the situation. If it was a mutual friend that both of us had an interest in, I would understand why my friend wanted to keep this from the other. If it was a friend I was not familiar with, I would tell her to explain what had happened was a misunderstanding and to apologize.”
—Lily, seventh grade, Littleton Middle School

“I think part of me would think to post them because it’s my birthday and my friend lying to her friend isn’t my problem at all. But if you actually think about what the right thing to do is in this situation, it would be to not post the pictures, even though it wouldn’t feel fair. I think, if I’m being honest, I would probably post the pictures, but it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.”
—Phoebe, 10th grade, Gann Academy

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