As we skip to and fro through the holiday season, enjoying the company of family and friends, an ugly truth has shown up asking to park itself on the couch.
Very recently, I found myself embroiled in a matter with someone close to me over something that was made available publicly. The individuals right to make it public is not the issue. Its graphic nature and the fact that it was made available in a social media forum, where the individual in question has also connected with my son, is. I’m being purposely obtuse BTW.
My wife felt compelled to comment on the extremely disturbing image, and that perhaps it probably shouldn’t have been put up at all. Then the crapulesence (not a real word) began to flow.
A handful of this individuals “friends” popped on to give their advice on how we should parent as well as our freedom to simply “hide” the posting in question. In short, if we couldn’t “handle” it, then we shouldn’t be there in the first place.
So here’s where I get angry, and seriously consider drowning all social media – The average age of these commentators is i believe in the early to mid 20’s. None of them appear to have children of their own. Nor do they appear to have a firm grasp of proper sentence structure, or a working understanding of punctuation. That aside, not once did the individual who put up the initial post ever respond, either to private message, public comment, or personal text.
I think that pisses me off more than anything.
There is a trend i have noticed with younger people. They don’t necessarily consider the wider effects of what they do when they are online. While sites such as Reddit offer a plethora of subject matter to sink your teeth into, it is organized in such a way that you won’t be offended when you log on to the page for the first time. You have to go looking for the sick and twisted shit. Also, the average poster seems to be a wee bit more mature in terms of what they have to say. My opinion.
Another example is Twitter, which limits you to 140 characters to illuminate your audience with, and provide links to the stuff you want to share.
Facebook was originally intended as a means to making connecting with family and friends easier. Out of this grew the current model, which includes game hosting, groups and fan pages. If you really feel strongly about something, you can create a group, and then invite those people you think will be responsive to your message.
Lastly, we have this page right here. A Blog. You very own personal digital diary. You can put what you’d like and be prepared for the good, bad and the ugly that comes your way as a result of what you write about.
What doesn’t get talked about in this new media age is personal responsibility. Even though you have the freedom to get your message out there, you still need to consider the number one rule when dealing with people: “Know your audience”. If you think there might be something offensive about what you are wanting to say, or show, then factor that into how you present it.
I have for the most part not had any issues with the stuff I’ve seen on the gamut of social media, however, lately, i have become increasingly fed up with a creeping trend of “shock for shock’s sake” and a host of attack-like commentary by complete strangers. This is where the concept of personal responsibility could really be helpful.
Dare I say – is it time for me to retreat from the social world? Because I have to tell you, I really don’t need the headache.