Anyone who loves technology understands that advancement of new products and concepts moves quicker than the court system can keep up with. While this includes consumer rights when purchasing certain products, what mostly needs addressing is how much legal protection is offered when it comes to the Internet?
Individuals who use the Internet to express their thoughts and ideas believe free speech is protected by the law; yet, there have been challenges to this belief over the years where the law has not caught up to where public opinion would like it.
So, individuals need to police themselves in either trying not to test the law or to push to see how far one can go. This brings me to one avenue, Twitter, where some learn the hard way how problematic this tool can be.
Therefore, let us discuss why being a part of the Twitter-universe can be a dangerous place to be.
First, some history
Back in the days when people were mostly emailing others about certain topics, he/she could vent all they wanted, take a pause to re-read what was written and then making changes as to avoid putting your foot in your mouth before finally sending it off.
Moving on, chat rooms and text messages presented a situation to say what is on your mind and if you did say something you might end up regretting, damage is limited to the person(s) that received the text or the number of individuals in your chat room.
Now we come to Twitter, which is what I would refer to as the danger zone.
The reason for such a negative name is if an individual is unaware of how powerful the Twitter universe can be, then participating in this can be dangerous not only to the individual, but to others as well.
Words are powerful
My background includes roughly a decade as an English teacher in which I worked with middle-school students. The written word can be very powerful if you know what you’re doing. Once, there was a time that the pen could be mightier than the sword. While it still can hold true today, it has become the keystroke is mightier considering how much time people spend on the Internet surfing for information or forums to join.
When it comes to Twitter, there are many ways in which this type of forum can be dangerous and it is extremely important to be aware of this before joining in.
Remember the old saying of Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me? First coming to life in 1862, this expression has been used by people for over 150-years, but what has changed is how untrue this has become.
Anyone writing comments about their feelings toward something or an individual must realize that by pressing the Enter key, the comment is sent with no way to take it back.
Lives have ultimately been changed, sometimes forever, because of someone’s tweet. There are some who love the power they have by making negative comments about an individual’s color, race, body type, sexual preference and more from the comfort of their home without any repercussions to him/her. Here is one example of how dangerous tweets can be; Cyber bullying.
We enter the world of cyber bullying
Anyone who follows the news has heard stories of how students will go online and zero in on a classmate to use Twitter as a forum to say cruel things about that individual, sometimes not even knowing the person, without caring about what the consequences may be.
The next day, maybe in a week, the student that was the victim in Cyber bullying ends up committing suicide because the individual could not handle the abuse. Although I am not condemning Twitter since most users understand how to use this forum maturely and responsibly, there are those who are not mature enough or do not care about others but only themselves who get off hurting people they hardly know. Another danger must do with putting one’s foot in their mouth.
Another expression of someone putting their foot in their mouth is another expression that has been around for some time meaning you should know what you are saying before it comes out of your mouth.
Twitter is known for this action especially when someone famous says something using this forum and later must issue a retraction for saying something either stupid or without real proof.
While many would accept this form of an apology, a tweet can be extremely dangerous if it hurts someone enough that causes unforgettable emotional damage or giving false information that results in someone attempting to shoot up a pizza place to stop a supposed conspiracy theory; sound familiar?
You can’t take it back
There are other examples I can give that shows how dangerous using Twitter can be, such as how many times a famous person said something vile on Twitter and then saying it wasn’t their fault but their account was hacked, but it would take hours to finish this discussion.
My goal is not to deter everyone from using this forum but to be prepared before stepping in to it. The only individuals I would wish to stay away from the Twitter universe are those whose only mission is to spread lies and hurt people without any concern of the consequences of their actions.
Anyone else who does want to join, but have no idea of the hazards and pitfalls that exist, I strongly urge these individuals to take a step back and make sure you are secure about yourself and be mindful of being suckered into joining a discussion that would treat someone in a way you would not want to be treated.
Thank you for being a part of this discussion and I hope it will help you to avoid the dangers of the Twitter-universe.