by Mary J. Williams
As human beings, one of the greatest gifts we were given is the power to choose the course of our actions. In simple terms, when you leave the house, do you turn right, or left? Your choice. Your free will.
The same ability to decide which way to turn applies in a more complicated manner to social media. Let’s use Twitter as an example.
To tweet or not to tweet. That is the question.
If you use Twitter, you probably know what I mean. You’re angry, so you take out your frustrations with a pithily written rant aimed at someone or something. You have the right to express your opinion. After all, this is America, right? You hover over the tweet button. Do you send your incendiary message, or do you delete? Your choice. Your freewill.
The question you need to ask is, what will be the consequences and can I deal with the fallout? Maybe, you lose a friend. Maybe, you incur the ire of a few followers. Maybe, you lose your job.
Your tweet, your responsibility. And good luck trying to delete your mini-masterpiece. As you should already know, once sent, the words you write are forever. Make all the excuses you want. The devil made me do it. I was loopy on Ambien. Your nearest and dearest may accept your reasons, the rest of the world won’t be as kind.
Which brings me back to free will. Social media is a minefield. Take a wrong step, boom. Because we are living, breathing, thinking creatures, we can consider our actions before we act.
Use your free will. Think before you tweet. And if you decide to send your thoughts into the world, be prepared to live with the consequences.
And, yes. I do practice what I preach. I gave my words a lot of thought before I hit send. If you don’t agree, use your free will and fire back. All I ask? Take a deep breath before you send anything in the heat of the moment. Remember, cyberspace is forever.