be careful what you tweet (Afam's coming to get you.)

Twitter is the most remarkable invention, for never before has there been a more efficient thought catalogue. Journal and diary pages, are so long and empty that they appear daunting, and your Facebook friends would unfriend you if you shared every thought you had as it occurred to you. But Twitter is just right. On Twitter you can be anything and anyone. You can be Chimamanda’s forehead or  Desmond Elliot’s crooked tooth. You can be depressed, angry or hilarious. And you can be certain that whatever kind of tweeter you are, you will find your tweetfam.

While all of that is certainly delightful, it seems to me that the bulk of us have failed to adapt principles that are widely thought to be common sense in the modern day and age to our online proclivities. Both good sense and society speak out most fervently against turning our mouths into miniature caricatures of Usain Bolt. We have failed to transfer this logic to our fingers.

Several times a day, we flock to Twitter to share details of our lives and discuss trending topics like Beyonce’s alleged second pregnancy. E! Online say that their sources have confirmed that the King and Queen of all bees is pregnant, but last weekend she shared a sharp message on her Instagram that spoke out against all rumour millers and beehaters.

We strive for the RTs, and the followers with as much verve as a social media specialist who does the same thing for a living. We tweet certain things for laughs, and we whet our wits thinking up barbs to throw at celebrities and other complete strangers. It has been said that the walls have ears, and that we ought to be careful what we say for we never know who is listening. On Twitter, I’ll tell you who’s listening, the whole world.

A week and a bit ago, ms_kasharna1 commented on one of Rihanna’s instagram pictures. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be remotely worthy of a mention anywhere, except that she wrote that Rihanna’s family looked retarded because of drug and alcohol consumption and this led Rihanna to stitch a picture od ms_kasharna1 to that of a goat, and post it on Instagram, and Twitter. The poor girl was so overwhelmed by the electronic assault of Rihanna’s navy that she had no choice but to protect her Twitter account and delete every picture from her Instagram. While I think that Rihanna should have refrained from displaying such a remarkable level of immaturity and cattiness, I also believe that ms_kasharna1 should not have commented if she did not consider the slight possibility that there might be retaliation.

Furthermore, the inclusion of unprotected tweets is now standard, journalistic practice. This means that racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, and hateful tweets that demonstrate a generous portion of bigotry are fair game to everyone and anyone. What’s worse, you cannot deny them, or state that they are mere allegations or unproven accusations. They are written confessions, immediately accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

As long as @OdumotaHasABigHead and @ShineShineBoboForTheLadies can be attributed to you, you can and may very well be held accountable for every tweet or picture that comes out of them. As such, it is infinitely better for you to air the worst of your opinions at home than it is for you to tweet them. If you would not be proud of anything you write online if it were to be exposed on a public platform, then you must refrain from posting it, for chances are that it might.

Happy Days,


Reni J said...

This is funny, how did I miss Rihanna's retaliation?? Sad times!

bobby Ezidi said...

i just feel that eventually, some application where one's twitter history might be downloaded from will soon pop up.. imagine d damage it wld have on a candidate's election a night b4 it comes out.. or a prospective judge a night b4 his/her screening... we really never know who's listening..

Kiky Brown said...

You actually can download your own tweet history and I am sure it will also be possible for someone else to do the same...the world is definitely reading.

Afam said...

Yes, it is. Would you like to know how?

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