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

Okanagan water board seeks mussels funding

Okanagan Basin Water Board sends request to new federal fisheries minister

Armed Forces in town, two new fires near Cherryville

Area restrictions expanded, firefighters equipment stolen

City of Revelstoke and CSRD reach fire protection agreement

A new fire protection agreement has been negotiated between the City of… Continue reading

Cost to Revelstoke taxpayers as well as developers affected by proposed bylaw

If the tabled Development Cost Charge bylaw is passed sewer user costs will increase dramatically

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past-Aug. 15

Cathy English Revelstoke Museum & Archives Glimpses of the Past - Items… Continue reading

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Ash falling in the Okanagan

Reports on social media of ashes on cars around the Okanagan

Snowy Mountain fire travelling away from communities

The Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos remains at 13,359 hectares in size

Kelowna Drag King rocks out into the spotlight

Suiting up in leather and spikes, to compete alongside the Queens

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former Shuswap optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Most Read