UNITED STATES—Social media, it has its benefits, but at the same time it has massive drawbacks. I still think back to nearly a decade ago, where social media was just beginning to become prevalent, but was not as prevalent as it has become today. Why? It is everywhere and no matter what you do it can easily make internet with the snap of a finger. This is most notable for those utilizing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where one post can make you a viral sensation, the laughing stock of America or the enemy of the people.
So the question of the hour remains: should we refrain from utilizing social media to let the world know how we feel all the time? Hmm, that is indeed a tough question and I waiver back and forth on it. The one great thing about social media is that it allows instant gratification for most people. They are able to get out how they feel RIGHT AWAY without delay; it allows public consumption to take place. However, one of those drawbacks is once you make a statement it doesn’t just go away; you can delete, but by the time you do that, someone has already screen shot what you wrote and shared it across the web America.
I think I’m more concerned about Twitter, because all it takes is one tweet or one statement to cause uproar or a division in the world. I’m bringing this issue to concern because of recent issues with NFL players choosing not to stand during the national anthem. President Trump made his thoughts clear on the issue, and what was a wave of madness a few weeks ago has diminished slightly. However, Vice President Mike Pence decided to leave an Indianapolis Colts game after several players kneeled. What was the problem with this? Nothing, but the concern was that Pence didn’t really do this on his own volition; he did it after being informed by President Trump if it transpired to vacate the premises.
That is just one incident, because things have become dicey with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones noting that any player who chooses not to stand for the national anthem will not play. I’m not going to get into the politics of these issues, because to be honest if you look at the First Amendment there is a case that would not be that difficult to argue in the courtroom about one’s rights being infringed upon.
Anyway, the result of that statement led to ESPN host Jemele Hill, who already faced a bit of heat after sending out a tweet a few weeks ago calling President Donald Trump a white supremacist. Many were on Hill’s side, while others argued that was a risky claim to make, and to some degree it is. Hill was suspended this week from ESPN after tweeting about hitting Jerry Jones where it hurts most: his pockets. How? To go after the advertisers that helps secure money for the organization. ESPN noted Hill was being suspended for 2 weeks for violating company policy.
So the question we all have to ask is should we be refrained from utilizing social media in our personal lives if we work for a company where voicing your opinion or being in the news media arena causes issues? That’s a very tough call. I think it sucks that you can work for an organization and not make statements about certain things that you feel without being reprimanded, but at the same time I totally understand why if you work in the news arena TWEETING or utilizing social media to express how one feels about political issues can be problematic. The goal is to remain unbiased. It creates an issue of conflict.
Some of you might think this isn’t such a big deal, but I’m arguing that this is a big deal. Why? We could run into a situation where you are seeing more and more employers indicate in contracts for employees that they could be reprimanded as a result of partaking in making public statements that could reflect badly on the organization or place them in a situation where they have to address the comment at hand. For all the good that social media does in this country, there are plenty, and I mean plenty of drawbacks, which means: in this world today you have to be careful what you say.