Mon | May 27, 2024

Think before sharing things on social media

Published:Friday | April 19, 2024 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

There is a video circulating online showing social media persona Quite Perry and two social media allies rating carnival costumes. The focus was on women’s costumes, and they were good and bad. It was the laughter which incited ridicule as the person wearing the costume received the critique for her choices. The video received a lot of backlash, as some found it distasteful and a form of bullying, something which Perry himself has spoken about in interviews based on personal experiences. Interestingly, they didn’t did not judge the men’s costumes, neither did they judge their own, which, we suppose, were perfect. In the era of social media, it has become very easy for innocent persons, minding their own business, to be targeted online and bullied for ‘likes’.

Everyone has a right to their opinion, you can either keep it to yourself, laugh privately, or share within a close circle. When you use social media to target someone specifically and publicly judge them, we take it to another level. At least two of the three persons, including Perry, have since apologised. The original video was deleted, but not before it was shared multiple times. Some felt the matter was blown out of proportion, and the panel had nothing to apologise for. The panel obviously felt an apology was necessary, perhaps concerned about sponsorships, work, and the effect on their brands. When I saw the clip, a few words came to mind: ‘juvenile’; ‘misogynistic’, which was weird considering two women did most of the talking. The laughter made it worse. The woman who was criticised the most in the clip was mature and confident enough to accept the apologies and move on. Her following is rising.

In another incident involving a controversial post on Alando Terrelonge’s Instagram account, commenting on the positive achievements of ‘our government’. The photo showed him in dialogue with a gentleman, both seated, and on the wall were photos of former Jamaican prime ministers (PMs) on the wall. The photos of two PMs, Portia Simpson and P.J. Patterson, were blocked out with emojis of the Jamaican flag, while photos of PM Holness and Golding were in full view. Terrelonge has since apologised and deleted the post, blaming the incident on a member of ‘his team’; shifting blame has become the new order of the day, instead of owning the issue and learning from it. Of course, the post with image which was deleted is already out there, and is quickly making its rounds online.

In the digital world where everything is instant, most times an apology alone won’t cut it. Even if the post is deleted, you can bet the digital footprints will remain. We must think before we type and share anything online. We must think before we click ‘send’. Not everything is funny or in good taste, or worth sharing publicly. Sometimes we should pause and learn to absorb and enjoy our private moments among ourselves and those closest around us; not everything is meant to be shared with the public.

P. CHIN

chin_p@yahoo.com