Social media is everywhere these days, and virtually every teenager is using it.

Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing?

It depends on how we use it.

Chapel Hill resident Laura Tierney (a former field hockey star at Duke) is the founder of The Social Institute, an organization designed to help people navigate the world of social media. Tierney says social media can seem like a minefield at times – but it can also be a force for good, both for societies and for individuals, if we know how to treat it properly.

Tierney says her approach is to accentuate the positive: rather than emphasizing the “don’ts” of social media, she focuses on the “do’s.” Forget how we shouldn’t behave – how should we behave? What should we share? Who should we friend? And when should we put down the phones and engage with each other face-to-face?

Laura Tierney discussed social media strategy with WCHL’s Aaron Keck.


For more information on The Social Institute – and how students, parents, schools, and other organizations can get involved – visit