My friend, Jessica Gottlieb, posted this article last night on her Facebook feed, about how one tweet ruined someone’s life. After reading it my stomach hurt. We think that what we say online won’t have consequences but you really never know. You never know when a sentence or photo will be misinterpreted or taken out of context. Not everyone sees things the way I do or the way you do. It feels safe to call someone out on Facebook or Twitter. To shame them for an action or something they’ve said but who are we to shame someone else and judge them? And the repercussions this might have for that person online and offline can be severe – cost them their jobs and family. Cause anxiety, insomnia and even depression. The ripple effect can be more severe than we realize.
I have to say, social media has certainly caused me anxiety before. I’ve wondered why someone unfriended me. I’ve gotten hateful messages on Twitter. I’ve been called names and attacked because I was seen drinking a diet soda. I’ve seen friends hide out or disappear online because it is too much. I’ve deleted posts and videos. I’ve always worried about being on the wrong side of someone and what that can mean online. I’ve warned my young cousins and nieces and nephews who have yet to get it. I wish they’d get it because they need to.
As adults, we need to set an example for how social media should be used, so our children use it wisely and appropriately and don’t hurt others and become hurt by these online tools. I highly suggest reading this article because you never know when you’ll find yourself on the bad side of the Internet. It causes you to stop, think and maybe do some self-reflection. It did for me, which is why I’m sharing. I’m not judging or saying anyone can or cannot post what they like. I just think this article makes you stop and realize that what you post or I post can potentially have terrible consequences that hurt people, even when we don’t realize it.
I know I’ve made mistakes online and I’m not perfect but I’d hate for one tweet to ruin my life or hurt someone else.
What are your thoughts after you read this article? You can also feel free to read my article about online reputation management to help protect yourself online.
Why not? Great tips for free!