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Ok so I totally stole that line from “The Social Network”. In the film, Mark Zuckerberg’s girlfriend is yelling at him for calling him a B**** on in his blog, she screams “The Internet is not written in Pencil, Mark, it’s written in ink!” That line has always stuck with me! I find it a little worrisome that many people do not understand that the internet is public. Once you put it out there, you can never get it back.
I’m not an expert in psychology, but I think that is human nature to want to vent. I think that venting is good – but inappropriate venting on the internet, regardless of the social medium, is BAD.
I love a good (healthy) political debate. And unlike many bloggers and social experts, I also love mommy-pictures and cute animals. However, my number one pet peeve is Blog posts/status updates/Tweets that use inappropriate language and curse words or that are slanderous and mean.
It seems that internet users forget that people are judged by the words that they wear. We all know that language helps distinguish and identify groups of people – language can tell us a lot about a person. An accent may tell us the region that the speaker hails from, their economic status, or what his or her original language.
Vocabulary and grammar that a blogger/ tweeter/ status-updater uses can give us a clue whether he or she is an expert in their given field, how much education the person has had, if he or she has respect for the person or topic that is being discussed, or the speaker's economic status.
Many people who forget their manners when posting to their various platforms. Friends write on other peoples wall with a multitude of swearwords and inappropriate remarks. Insensitive pictures or topics are ranted about in blogs. People curse each other out on Twitter or slam colleagues. The Internet shouldn’t be a hateful, improper, rant-fest of swears, poor grammar, and insults.
The use of profanity often marks the speaker in a number of ways. It makes the speaker appear to be uneducated. Using the F-word rather than other, more creative vocabulary implies that the speaker is not aware of other words that can be used. This shows that the speaker was never taught vocabulary and as such is likely unable to use the English language well in addition to looking like a rude jerk.
You cannot post about how much you hate someone, make fun of everything about them, and expect it to be ok. For one, if it is coworker or employer, they may find said post and you’ll be out of work. Even if the object of your cuss-filled rant is not someone you work with, you could find yourself unemployed if your job has a social media policy.
Two, they may be deeply hurt and affected by the attack. And three, it makes you seem like a bad, uncaring person with nothing better to do than bring others down. Like mom always said to politely use please and thank you, online you must politely respect others. Tweet them with respect, post on their Facebook walls with tact. A little respect and manners can get you a long way in life–offline and on.