Published on December 24, 2011
In your world of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and beyond.. what you say and what you do is a representation of yourself. Whether it’s partying all the time, constantly cursing and posting obscene pictures to laughing at events and debating politics and current global news; it could very well be a combination of all at some point in time. But in the end, what you post on these sites will never be the full definition of who you are. Which is why there is a thin line between social media humor and idiocy.
Of course you enter these social networks with an intention. Nine times out of ten, if you’re 21 and younger, you’re simply on there to be yourself, have fun, and enjoy your interaction with others. But as time goes on, and priorities change, it’s important to evaluate your use on these networks and how you’re presenting yourself. Especially for Facebook, many employers may have the access (with or without your permission) to view your photos, comments, and posts. There’s no need to completely gag yourself from being who you are, but if you tend to talk about others behind their back, comment on your “lousy” job, stay out partying every night until 3am, or enjoy dirty mirror poses, it’s most likely time for a change.
In perfect example, Andre Curry, a 21-year old father, posted [this picture] of his daughter bound and gagged on Facebook. Purportedly done in all innocence and fun with his 22-month-old daughter, he wrote: ”This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back. ” [sic]. With kidnappings and merciless murder of young children seemingly occurring at a record pace in the news, many found this photo disturbing and the Department of Children and Family Services was called on the child’s behalf.
The photo is only half of the story. No one knows how the child reacted (who has since expressed longing for her now detained father); no on can be certain if it was actually done maliciously or not; and both parties, as well as families are now suffering with the consequences of his actions. Worst of all, if it was simply done out of fun and nothing less or more, the father definitely crossed the line from humor to idiocy and has to wait for freedom, or pay $100,000 for bail until a verdict is made.
The thing about social media is that you’re offering a part of yourself no one else would otherwise know or understand, unless you’ve showed it or explained it to them. Ironically, unless you sit to write an entire paragraph about every action you take, almost anything you do and everything you say can be taken out of context in one way or another. So next time you’re about to post that tweet about your stank boss sitting next to you, facebook a pic of you breaking and entering your mother’s house, or tumble a video of your crazy night out on your “sick day,” be 100% sure of your audience.