UNITED STATES—So many people are failing to realize how dangerous social media can be. Yes, we have the right to freedom of speech, but it surely can get you in trouble in mainstream America. We’ve become a more tolerable nation in recent years; absolutely there is still plenty of work to be done, but we’ve made some great strides to be tolerant of all people.
This past week has been a tough one for fans of the A&E hit series “Duck Dynasty” as one of its members is in hot water for making some anti-gay comments. Those comments weren’t made via social media, but when they hit the public sphere it was an all out war. Fans are petitioning to ensure Phil stays on the show, while countless others including producers of the series are placed in sticky situation of what to do.
People do indeed have the right to voice their opinions; I mean heck this isAmericafor goodness sake. Unfortunately, quite a few Americans can say some ignorant and stupid comments and think its okay. Guess what its not. Just as the PR exec who sent out an incredibly stupid, dumb, unforgivable tweet about a trip to Africa she was taking.
How in the world she thought her tweet was funny or wouldn’t be caught by the Twitter community dumbfounds me, but she learned the hard way as her company canned her. That’s just a side-effect of thinking on impulse without actually thinking. People for some unknown reason think that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc, provides them with this invisible shield, sorry it doesn’t.
That’s the purpose of social media: to connect with a large network of people, in an extremely small amount of time. If you have lots of ‘LIKES’ on Facebook, people will see what you posted or wrote, the same applies for Twitter, which in my opinion, is a ‘instant’ delivery to news content or trending things over the Internet, that is consumed by millions, perhaps billions of people on a daily basis. That may explain my reasoning behind not using Twitter or Facebook, except for work purposes, I can care less if someone knows what I’m doing, where I’m eating, who I’m with, etc, etc, etc.
We live in this bubble of a world where people think its ‘important’ to tweet or post every single and little thing they do al the time. It’s similar to the obsession with YouTube. The crap that is on that site is unbelievable and people can literally spend hours or a entire day fishing through content. YouTube is the new sensation to become an overnight celebrity. Trust me it’s so true.
The point is in the past six months I can’t tell you how many people have lost employment or have become publicly scorned for ignorant comments made over Twitter or Facebook. It’s a public sphere, not a private page. Be warned what you write is likely being seen by others and in this society if it offends someone, its guaranteed its newsworthy and everyone will know your name rather you want them to or not.
By Trevor Roberts