People network with family, friends and colleagues in more ways than one and keep those connections through social media. The First Amendment grants us a right to freedom of expression, information etc. and the advent of social media went hand in hand with that.
As a news outlet, we’ve seen social media serve as a wonderful tool to disseminate information. We love its ability to work for us in our endeavors to keep the public informed when news happens beyond office hours. But we also recognize the pitfalls that come with that freedom and anonymity.
The instant transmission of information sometimes reveals a lot of bad. Don’t believe us? Just check the comment section on any newsworthy post these days. With cyberbullying at an all-time high we can’t help but think about the true weight of these tools we’ve been given.
In less advanced times we were more likely to think before we spoke because communication was in person or not as anonymous as we now have via Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat.
In today’s world, we find ourselves asking almost daily: What were they thinking? We’ve seen child pornography shared via social media, crimes broadcast live over the internet, people posing in profile photos with murder weapons and social media users making public death threats to law enforcement.
It seems nowadays we need a little help thinking before we type or before we share false information. Social media can be a great tool and we know this. But as with many of our rights we also have a responsibility to do our part to maintain some sort of order. We urge everyone to remember there is a person behind every post, news story, comment, share or like on social media.
Think of it like this. Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your mother or child to see. Pretty simple rule, but it works.
It’s also important to remember an employer could fire you for something you said on social media. Let’s do our part to make sure we not only think before we type, but we read and research before we share.