You have the right to remain silent

Over the past few years Twitter has become a social media giant and a large part of everyday life. I’m constantly posting updates about my work, TV shows, sports events, and general things I like. Clearly I’m not alone.

Twitter boasts around 500 million people using its service with an average of 400 million tweets per day being posted. Now that’s an awful lot of thoughts and feelings. So it comes as no surprise not all of them are nice.

We’ve all seen a negative tweet or two in our time. You may have even posted a few too. Most of which on the surface seem harmless enough. “Oh Joe Bloggs get off my TV”, “Mr Smith really annoys me”, come as par for the course online. People going out of their way to annoy celebs and other people for usually little-to-no reason at all other than to be noticed.

But now and again you get the really nasty tweets. Tweets that attack minority groups, cause major offence and ultimately serve no purpose than to bully or attack.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the story of Paris Brown in the news lately. This story particularly caught my attention. A girl, now 17, judged by comments made on the platform a few years ago.

I don’t know this girl – I don’t know what she’s like in reality, much like the rest of the country. But based on a handful of words posted online the country has started forming opinions about her.

I found it difficult to decide whether Paris was the offender or the victim, if either. Should we all be judged on stupid choices we made in our teenage years?

Think about some of the off-hand comments you’ve made over the years. Now imagine they were there for all to see years later. I’m sure we’ve all uttered things we’re not proud of. Should this girl be judged harshly because of it?

Social Media is quickly becoming an online history of our lives, documenting our darkest moments for all to see. It’s time we all thought long and hard about our behaviour online before it gets us into trouble.

It’s times like this I realise that mother does indeed know best. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. You never know who might be listening/or reading…