To Tweet or Not to Tweet?
Clapback culture is all the rage right now. Entire accounts are dedicated to documenting to most epic, witty and downright mean responses to statements on the internet. It’s a cultural phenomenon and everyone is looking for a few minutes of internet fame by clapping back. There is also public calling out of individuals, whether directly or subtly (throwing shade). Besides these, there is a wealth of fascinating content on the internet, whether it be hard-to-believe-but-entertaining stories, oversharing or documenting. The biggest source of this material is Twitter, where the shadiest, most gasp-inducting content is dished out in 140 characters or less.
There is the temptation to get in on the action. To tweet that ridiculous thing your aunt said over dinner. To share details of your date night with your significant other. To show off your latest find. To call out that egomaniac you work with for her catty behavior. There is the temptation to tweet. Should you give in to that temptation, however? Keep in mind that lives have been ruined and reputations destroyed because of twitter. Heck, people have lost their jobs for tweeting the wrong thing. Before you tweet, consider a few things.
First of all, Twitter is a public platform. Everything that is put there is going to be seen, no matter how seemingly minute. The person you intended for it to see (or not) can see it. Plus, it’s the internet, it will the there forever. Almost everyone looks back at something they said and feel embarrassed. Now imagine the whole world being able to see and relive it…that is twitter.
Also ask yourself, if the person you wanted to tweet to was in front of you, would you say it to their face? Internet anonymity can give us a false sense of bravado, but it can be easily misplaced. Don’t tweet rudely to an older person or burn bridged while trying to break the internet.
How does this make you look? It might seem fierce in the moment you tweet, but think of how you potentially come across. Employers now make it a point of duty to go through potential employee’s social media history. How would your tweets make you come across?
Be kind. It might feel good to join the online lynch mob or drag everyone you disagree with, but it’s a better option to be kind. Few people consider the feelings of those on the other side of the tweet. Those who are publicly made fun of and have their mistakes (however well-intended) used as a punchline. The internet is a cruel place on its own, but let’s not contribute to it.