In the past, the first amendment of the constitution paved the way for powerful social movements. Unfortunately, it’s also given way for total jerks to voice their opinion. I came across this article yesterday titled, "Facebook Imbeciles Think Japan Tsunami Is Karmic Payback for Pearl Harbor." So, if that statement doesn’t bother you then you should probably stop reading this blog... Still here? Well, I’m glad you feel the same way I do.
I try to keep an open mind when it comes to view points that are very different than mine but in this particular case, I find it almost impossible to see where these people are coming form. In my opinion, when someone tries to compare one tragic event to another as a means to “make up” for past events, it is just absolutely ridiculous. One tragedy doesn’t cancel out another. No one is keeping score this way, except for maybe these numb skulls.
After reading some of the posts these people put on Twitter and Facebook, it got me thinking about free speech. Before Twitter, when we had a problem about a company, we could go to Yelp to talk about our customer service complaint. What platform was utilized to complain about what was going on in the world?
When my dad had an opinion or disagreement about something going on in the world, he would write to the editorial section on the Dallas Morning News. My mom, on the other hand, would complain to me or her friends. Both of these interactions involve some planning. Now, with almost no planning at all, I can type something on Twitter and send it out into the web without another thought about it. I attribute some of the comments made by these people as impulsive and without any thorough consideration. However, even after thinking things through, some people still feel the Japan Tsunami was payback for the Pearl Harbor attacks. This bothers me and it makes me upset to see people think this way, but what makes me angrier is, with social media, I have to hear about it on a grander scale. It isn’t just my crazy neighbor with the gnome collection in his front yard who tells me the tsunami was karmic payback, it’s all of these random people in twitterville.
Unfortunately, I can’t limit social media use to just smart people and I can’t control people’s opinions but what I can do in this society is voice my own opinion. As public relations practitioner, we have to be cognizant of the existence of these impulsive tweeters. Knowing how to manage ridiculous tweets about your client is what I still need to learn.