Why it’s so easy to be stupid online

Sometimes I browse Facebook and thank the good Lord above that it didn’t exist until I was in college.  Oh the angst that I already had in my teenage years, and how much more it would have been if Facebook had been around then.

I don’t think that Facebook or any social media is bad.  It all has a lot of potential for great things, and I actually love the Internet and all the opportunities it provides.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not stupid on it sometimes.  And we act like it’s ok to be stupid on the internet because it’s the internet and we should be able to express ourselves. 

But guys, that’s stupid.  There’s a difference between expressing your opinion and doing it in the most public and potentially permanent form ever to exist.  Written word can be burned and manuscripts lost.  Video can be taped over.  But try to truly take something down on the internet.  Or put it on the internet with the guarantee that no one, NO ONE, but you or a select group of people will ever see it.  Ever.  Or that people will at least not see it right away.  Have fun with that little project, let me know how it goes.

It’s not that I think people should shut up online. But we can’t act like we can or should just say anything, and if we do we’re ignoring the whole point of the online world.

So next time you’re going to put something online think about what it would sound like if you yelled it into a megaphone at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Or if you wrote it down and hand-delivered it to every person you’d ever met, and then anyone they’d ever met.  Or if it was the pull quote printed on a best-selling magazine. 

Because all three of those things are less public and permanent than the internet, and yet a lot harder to do.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever said online? I keep posting status updates that could be interpreted as a pregnancy announcement when I’m totally and completely not pregnant.  And that’s not even the dumbest thing, but it’s the worst that I’ll admit.


3 thoughts on “Why it’s so easy to be stupid online

    • You know, I don’t always agree with what you say online, but I like that you’re aware of what you’re doing. You own what you say. If someone called you out for it, for whatever reason, your response would not be ” but it’s the internet!”

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