Where do we draw the line on what we share online? | Helpful Mum

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Where do we draw the line on what we share online?

What you had for dinner?
Who has annoyed you this morning?
When your child did their first poo or wee on a potty?
A picture of said poo in the potty?
Whether or not you made your bed this morning?
A retweet of a dead person?
Your vicious and accusatory status about immigrants?
Your xenophobic opinions on other races?

Most of us are guilty of at least one of these. I know I have posted a picture of my dinner on Instagram before and even tweeted when my daughter first used the potty (no picture though). Perhaps they are a step too far. You don't need to know. Before social media, you wouldn't have known. Only my close family would have know because it isn't exactly the kind of thing you share with strangers. Except that now it is. Unfortunately.

I read a post on Big Fashionista earlier about whether or not social media has become an anti-social network. Certainly, as I have written about before, I think that to a certain extent, social media ruins real friendships. You can read that post here. It seems that we now have to censor our own timelines, choosing what we do and do not want to read and see. In the past, the media did that for us.

When did it become acceptable to tweet pictures depicting death and horror? On the news there used to be a warning before upsetting pictures or film. Yes, I know that horrific events happen and I do not want to hide my head in the sand, but I might not actually want to see every single detail. I used to work in a television newsroom and was on shift on September the 11th 2001. I saw graphic footage and images that day which will stay with me forever. They were awful. Luckily, most people will not have seen that footage or those images. The media sensibly chose not to broadcast or publish them. The tragic events at the Twin Towers were appalling enough without the need for such graphic detail. The majority of people are sensible enough to accept that.

Last night I was utterly saddened by my Facebook timeline. One person had openly incited racial attacks. Seriously. I went to bed with a heavy heart. I honestly (maybe naively) didn't think that many people held such views these days. Especially not without knowing a full, or verified story. I was disappointed. It showed me the worst of society at a time when the opportunity to show the best was there.

I am reaching a point now where I have to log out of social networks when any major atrocity happens, purely because I cannot bear to see supposed 'free speech' in action.

I leave you with this quote from Ghandi:
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

Rainbow

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