Nathan’s Notes: Understanding Social Media’s Golden Rule

“Be careful what you post —nothing is ever really deleted from the internet.”

For anyone who was at least partially brought up in the age of the world-wide-web, advice that echoed principles of cautious posting was driven with such repetition into your brain that it became almost redundant.

Along with the universal lessons of “look both ways before crossing the street” and “treat others as you would want to be treated,” the warning of thinking before you tweet seemed to establish itself as a millennial ‘Golden Rule’ of sorts.

However, it seems the intensity of ramifications for poor-taste postings are only now being realized.

Last week’s Rosseanne Barr debacle saw a racist tweet lead to the cancellation of what had been an extremely successful revival of Barr’s sitcom, Rosseanne, creating a concrete example of the repercussions which can follow inappropriate posts.

Until now, these ramifications were usually carried out on a micro scale — I’d heard many stories of a poorly thought out joke leading to the loss of a part-time job or maybe a visit to the principles office.

However, last week’s occurrence showed how the choice to click “send” on social media can lead to million-dollar decisions.

To be fair, Barr isn’t the first to publicly face backlash for poor-taste posting.

The emergence of a professional generation brought up on the cusp of social media has led to politicians losing voters over posts they made as teens and college athletes gaining more notoriety for questionable tweets than their team-leading performances in game.

While it’s not currently uncommon for news sites to be plastered with headlines that expose public figures for inappropriate posts, I’ve begun to wonder how the next generation may change the trend.

In 2018, we’re 12 years into the age of Twitter, 14 years from Mark Zuckerberg’s founding of Facebook and 15 years past Myspace’s initial launch.

In the very near future an entire generation of young professionals who don’t know life without social media will enter the work force.

Even at 21, I have little memory of how we communicated before instant message.

Though even with the redundancy of the “Be careful what you post” rule, I only recently understood the repercussions thoughtless posts could have. And I don’t think I’m alone.

The Barr incident has led me to wonder how the understanding in social media’s permanency and effect may differ between generations.

While younger generations were told over and over by authority figures to think before they post, these same authority figures may not have understood their own lesson.

And while one hopes that Barr will act as an example in which others can learn from, I’m doubtful that poor-taste posts are going to disappear any time soon.

While the rules of social media seem simple, it’s becoming more and more apparent that we are still in a grey area of what can be posted and what should be kept to yourself.

While Barr may seem like an obvious example of how posting something offensive, unthoughtful or rash will lead to facing the consequences, many have already pointed out a glaring double standard—while polarizing tweets have the possibility of getting your T.V. show canceled, they can also get you elected as the President of the United States.

Just Posted

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Possible rainfall rates of up to 25 milimetres in one hour.

Mercury rises in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures reach about 36 C with humidex in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Revelstoke Columbia River Treaty meeting brings local concerns to the forefront

The government of British Columbia hosted a community meeting surrounding the Columbia… Continue reading

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Human caused fire knocked down in Mt. Revelstoke National Park

A fire broke out on the lower slopes of Mount Revelstoke yesterday… Continue reading

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

Star Gazing: Using a large telescope

Ken Tapping, astronomer with the National Research Council’s Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory

Trudeau says he can’t imagine Trump damaging U.S. by imposing auto tariffs

New tariffs on Canadian autos entering the U.S. would amount to a self-inflicted wound on the U.S. economy

Temperature records broken across B.C., again

The first heat wave of the season went out with a bang across the province

Canada’s first national accessibility law tabled in Ottawa

The introduction of the Accessible Canada Act marked a key step towards greater inclusion

Police chief calls for mass casualty plan in Saskatchewan after Broncos crash

Former Saskatoon police chief Clive Weighill said the office was tasked with creating such a plan 13 years ago but none exists

U.S. schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct acted as a team physician at other universities

Phillies fan injured by flying hot dog

Allegedly the team’s mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, rolled out his hot dog launcher

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

Most Read