Don't Hit Send!
It's been a while since I posted an article on my blog. There's been so many topics that I've wanted to talk about, the recent election, Cosby, Education, the job market, however, I kept coming back to the same place...Don't Hit Send.
From the President's insane tweets, which contradict themselves on a weekly basis, to the teenager who was recently convicted on manslaughter charges based upon texts encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide, the message is always the same Don't Hit Send. Then comes the story of ten students who recently got their Harvard offers rescinded after obscene Facebook chats were discovered.
As a father of a young girl, I'm constantly concerned over what she's doing on her cell phone. We live in a new world where people now have the urge to publish every thought that comes into their heads. This is scary since filtering emotions comes with maturity. Kids need the freedom to be emotional, silly, funny, and yes stupid. Unfortunately today, kids don't have that freedom with social media.
Texts to a boyfriend encouraging him to kill himself is manslaughter; a joke posted in a chatroom about a Mexican Child "pinata time" disqualifies students from Harvard. Employers are now requiring applicants to turn over their cell phones and asking them to give passwords for social media accounts. What can an employer deduce from pictures of your child at a party? Are they "wild", "alcoholics", or "drug addicts"? Is your daughter a "slut" just because they saw a bikini picture?
Texts and social media leaves lots of room for interpretation. And just to be very clear, I'm not condoning the actions of the teenager whose texts "encouraged suicide" or the "racist and sexists" Facebook post of teens kicked out of Harvard. However, we're not doing our jobs as parents if we don't use these incidents and the behavior of our President as teachable moments for our kids.
The lesson is the same regardless of weather you're Democrat or Republican; it doesn't matter if the post was just a "joke". Right now we live in a world where posts have consequences. The audience doesn't take the time to think about your intentions. The reader reacts prior to thought. So before you post, text, tweet, or snap...read and think. How will my audience react to this? Will they understand my true meaning behind my words? Am I being emotional? Will I regret this post tomorrow, next week, or next year? If you don't know the answer to these questions, Don't Hit Send!