Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's the Internet, Dummy.

Facebook is not a diary kept under lock and key.  Twitter is very public. How many times have you heard on the news of some person who has lost a job because they posted racy pictures on Twitter or Tumblr. They lost a job because they went on a rant about their employer and yes, they have first amendment protection to say it, and the employer has first amendment protection to respond -- negatively.  I actually don't have much sympathy for these folks and their poor decision making.

I'm not talking about celebrities like Gilbert Gottfried who tweeted jokes following the Japan tsunami and lost his job as the Aflak duck. In all honesty, Aflak got what they deserved.  The man has no filters. What did the expect?

So many live their lives online tweeting and posting and Instagramming their every move.  I joked once that a friend of mine must be ill because he had only posted pictures and status 25 times that day instead of his usual 45 or 50 posts.  I know I can fall into that trap too posting mindless status reports that no one really wants to see, but I would like to think most of my posts may be something that will entertain or perhaps cause a bit of thought. I hope that perhaps others would do the same, and I try to do it with out vulgarity.

I know many of you probably don't think twice about cussing around your friends, but does every post need a swear word for emphasis?  Has our ability to communicate become so poor that we can only construct a post of 140 characters? Is it really necessary to put the word f***ing in the title of every page? "I love Effing science," or "I hate Effing  everything" are just two pages I've seen.  If it weren't for the title, I would love to like the science page, but I really don't need yet another swear word floating into my time line.   As it is, I won't even share that page's information because I don't want to offend someone with its title.

Don't get me wrong.  I am not commenting on literature or social comedy that use swearing for the purpose creating a certain kind of reality. I am referring to people who curse just because they can and seem to think that anyone who finds it offensive is wrong to comment.  I know the folks in Hollywood go on talk shows and cuss up a storm giving the censors a work out, but as Craig Ferguson, also a comedian with no filters, pointed out intelligence and talent do not go hand-in-hand.  I would point out that if it were so okay there wouldn't be censors.  If you are using these folks as your example that swearing is okay, you might want to reconsider who exactly it is you are using as your example.  They aren't pushing the envelope, they just aren't necessarily the bright.

Yes, I know.  I sound like least hip person you know, but I don't measure my coolness by the number of times I can swear and show how grown up I am.  I am also not trying to be a moral compass here. There are things I am not proud of, but I don't post them for billions of strangers to view, and I do not think my language should be the reason someone is offended.  My point here is that this is the internet, dummy.  You may be posting for specific friends, but the fact is we all get to see it, and we all get to deal with it, and it is forever online.  I am also one of those people who when I see someone who swears, I automatically think this person lacks the ability to make any kind of reasonable point.

When you rant about gun control or Obama or Tea Party or Socialists or that movie you vehemently disliked and then punctuate your point of view with swear words you are only saying you have neither a cogent argument or that you lack the support for any argument you might have. You also seem immature calling people vulgar names or even made-up names "Dumbocrap: or "Repuke" instead of Democrat or Republican. You may think you're being witty and clever, but take my word for it, you're not.

So next time you want to share, rant, or name your page, stop for a moment and ask yourself:

Will my employer or future employers see this? Will the college I am applying for see this? How many folks who you like might be offended? Would you really want your mom or grandma to see this?  Would your children be proud of you? Do you want your kids saying that? Do I really need this word? How many people get to see this that I really don't want to see this?  Does it make me look like a moron?

Am I really such a moron that I don't get the placement of this on the internet is forever?

Answer "yes" to just one question, then don't post it because if you do anyway, it does make you look like a moron.

The internet has no delete button.