Please tweet responsibly

May 8th, 2014

To my hip, young, espresso-drinking, social media savvy readers, I pose this question: Have you ever been seized by such unbelievable rage that you just want to scream out your frustrations on the mountaintops? You know what type of rage I’m talking about: the type where you want to go all Incredible Hulk or King Kong on the world (whatever your fictional rage character of choice may be).

Lucky for you young whippersnappers out there, there’s a little something called Twitter.

Yes, my friends. It’s the media outlet where you can tell off anyone you care to choose. Are you frustrated with that annoying girl next to you who’s chomping her gum a little too loudly? In a tizzy because you think that one guy across the room is looking at you the wrong way?

You’re in luck: just tweet out your frustrations. It’s a great way to unleash your anger on the world, with absolutely no repercussions whatsoever.

Or, if you want to be really sneaky, fire out some subtweets. That way, you’ll never get caught – even though you secretly hope that person is reading your tweets so you can have the satisfaction of getting your message across without having to confront them in person.

Hey, it not only saves face, but you have the satisfaction of knowing you’re secretly in control because you fired the first shots – in a sly, non-confrontational, lazy manner. And, you did it all while ordering a pizza, new jeans from Express and random collectors items from eBay you certainly don’t need. Cue evil laugh.

I sincerely hope this scenario sounded outright silly. The sad reality is that for many, this attitude has become second nature. Thanks to technology and the lack of face-to-face interaction, we’ve become more deceptive, more brash, more bold, without even having to leave the comfort of our homes. It’s far easier to tweet out some childish banter in a whirlwind of emotions than utter those same words to a person’s face.

Thus, we use the power of Twitter.

Yet, I ask you friends, is this really the answer to our problems? It’s true what they say: once it’s online, it’s there forever. Before you know it, someone will screenshot your words of rage, send it to their best friend, mom, dad,  their best friend’s mom and dad, the nosey neighbor down the street and the UPS guy.

It’s almost common sense to tweet responsibly. But, if it’s common sense, why do people tweet out vulgarity? Why does cyber bullying exist? And, call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen (or even participated) in our fair share of “Twitter wars.”

So let’s take a step back.

Why does Twitter exist in the first place? To publicly attack everyone and their brother? I’m going to go with no.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it might be to spread awareness, advocacy, ignite change and provide comic relief.

Somehow, I don’t think it was meant for someone to cowardly hide behind a computer screen or smartphone and criticize the universe.

Yes, I know the almighty powers of Twitter are tempting. But, it’s like the forbidden fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It seems like the right option. It’s in your reach. It’s easy. Yet, once you take a bite, you can’t go back. There are consequences. It most likely doesn’t stop at one tweet. It’s a vicious cycle.

Sure, a booming voice from the heavens resembling Morgan Freeman may not reprimand you. You may not get struck by a lightning bolt (no promises, though).

But, you may not be able to get a job.

And, you might lose some friends, your reputation and most importantly, Twitter followers.