We've all been there, so disgruntled by recent events that we turn to social media to unleash our feelings on the matter. We use the 140 characters allotted to express our discontent without so much as batting an eyelash at the thought that some of these words can be potentially hurtful. But what if the tables were turned, what if every aspect of your life was criticized as thoroughly as the celebrities we were so quick to turn on? Imagine walking out of your room in what you thought was a cute outfit when suddenly your notifications start blowing up. The outfit you swore was going to turn heads is ruined because one of your followers decided they didn't like the shoes you paired with it. This opens the floodgates.
Soon, instead of receiving compliments for the beautiful color scheme you'd put together, you're being scrutinized over the fact that your shoes don't share the exact hue as your skirt. As the day goes on, the Tweets only get worse, moving past your outfit on to menial things that are completely off topic and just plain mean. The worst part is that most of the people commenting about you would never say these things to your face, instead, they hide behind a keyboard and posts whatever comes to mind regardless of how hurtful. That doesn’t sound like a very nice day does it? Unfortunately, this type of behavior is becoming more and more common across social media. It is an epidemic called “Twitter Fingers.”
Twitter fingers occurs when people say things about people on Twitter that they would never have the gall to say in person. These social media sites act as a buffer and tend to make people bolder and more likely to state their opinion whether it be positive or negative. I can’t imagine anyone calling Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson a sissy in person, but they sure don’t mind doing it online! This troubling new trend is fixable, though, don’t lose faith in humanity just yet. Following some general etiquette can reverse these seemingly endless problems.
Rule number one: Treat others the way you want to be treated, otherwise known as the golden rule. If you wouldn’t want to be harassed over life choices, what makes you think Kim Kardashian would want that either?
Rule number two: If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. This one is pretty self-explanatory.
Rule number three: If they don’t ask, don’t tell. I didn’t see Tony Romo asking you how he played in his last game, so I doubt he even cares what you think.
Rule number four: Keep it positive. Social media is supposed to be fun, not a swirling abyss of black energy.
These rules are pretty simple to follow, a 3 year old could follow them. Let’s have 2016 bring about the end of this awful trend and instead start a new one. There’s enough negativity in the world already, let’s bring social media back to where it started, as a positive sharing platform, instead of a battleground.