The above title seems pretty obvious with “Duhhhh!!” being the appropriate response, but history has shown that people do not think before publicly posting what they think (ha ha! see what I did there). Case in Point, the girl of the moment ( and arguably the most hated woman on the internet….currently) Silly Justine Sacco. By now, you all have heard her tale. No? Well, Silly Justine Sacco, a PR Executive for Interactive Corp, was on her way to South Africa for the holidays and for some reason, felt the need to tweet this.
My first reaction to this was ‘You silly silly girl. You don enter am’ And I was right. Her tweet blew up all over the ‘twitter verse’ with over 3,000 retweets. Poor silly Justine Sacco couldn’t even take it down on time because she was already air-borne. The backlash was so bad that her company had to release a statement dissociating themselves from her. Did I mention she got fired? Well, she got fired.
Now I don’t know her intent for tweeting that. Maybe it was a joke, although one in poor taste. Maybe it was her prejudices. I don’t know. I wonder if the back lash would have been less if she had specified South Africa instead of insulting an entire continent , since she was born there and her father is South African. It would simply be insulting your home country, right? Which ALL of us has been guilty of at one time or the other. As much as I think what she did is in the extreme, I kinda feel pity for her. Her picture is everywhere. She has lost her job. She definitely won’t be able to go out in South Africa now. Her life appears ruined………….for the moment. Hope she bounces back.
That brings me to my title again. It is not every thing you think, every prejudice that you have that you must share with the world. There is NO privacy on the Internet. NONE!! So do not put anything out there that you would have to apologize for in the future. Yes, it is a free world (free-ish) and you are entitled to your opinions and your beliefs, but if your opinions/beliefs involve ‘I hate blacks, ‘Down with the Jews’, All Muslims are terrorists” and so on, do NOT post it on Facebook, twitter or any of the many social media sites. Do NOT blog about it. Nobody wants to read about your prejudices. Everyone has one. Even the most open-minded people have things that they cannot stand, but they don’t let the world know. Justine Sacco has less than 400 twitter followers. One of them broadcasted her tweet. It only takes one. So when you are thinking, ‘well I only have 50 friends on Facebook, I can type whatever I like’, remember it only takes one.
So if you feel very strongly about an issue that has not already viewed as criminal, you don’t need to let the world know, except you are prepared to back it up and constantly defend your opinion with facts and figures. Till then, keep your grievances to yourself…….for your own piece of mind.