The Internet Never Forgets

As marvelous as Social Media can be, there’s a side to it that frightens some away from even dipping their toes into the wonderful world of Twitter and Facebook. It’s important to remember that once you broadcast a spittake-worthy message  to your fans and followers, all it takes is one screen-cap for your words to forever loom in the realm of Twitter blunders.

With disappointed Republicans and Romney supporters outraged by President Obama’s recent re-election, many of them took to Twitter to express their opinions. Freedom of speech, right? To an extent. Folks like Donald Trump have been incredibly vocal with their disappointment, inciting backlash from regular Joe’s to popular entertainment blogs like E! who are marking his Twitter account as metaphorically dead, even after he deleted some of the 140-word rants. Trump’s vocality may have been humorous at first, but when the general public and Internet community grows tired of seeing your Twitter rants, you know you’re doing something wrong and abusing your naturally given Social Media rights.

Many pro-Romney Americans also took to popular Social Media venues to express their desire to move to other countries after Obama’s win. Fair enough – and their right to say so – as long as they’re educated on the laws and leaders of said countries. Making incorrect statements on the Internet can launch your message into popularity in no time, causing a frenzy of re-tweets, re-blogs, and mocking messages from fellow users. Take American teen Kristen Neel, for example. Unfortunately for Kristen, she failed to study countries outside of our borders before Tweeting to the world, “I’m moving to Australia, because their president is a Christian and actually supports what he says.

[Images courtesy of Huffington Post]

Kristen’s Tweet went viral, as do many that seem so genuine in their fatuity, sparking responses from Australians themselves looking to correct her knowledge on Prime Minister Julia Gillard. In comes the nastier side of Social Media. When a Tweet goes viral, it’s like opening a floodgate for an unstoppable tsunami of responses from anyone with a Twitter account. Well, almost unstoppable. There is one fix to the bombarding harassment that one can face on Twitter; deleting your account and disconnecting yourself from that blunder.

@KristenNeel_ no longer exists – a direct result of Kristen’s Tweet and the ricochet of seemingly unwanted attention that followed. Perhaps she will make a new Twitter account under an obscure alias, or perhaps this has frightened the teen from using Twitter for the time being. Surely savvy Internet users have already found her other Social Media accounts, and in honor of second chances this blogger hopes she isn’t frightened into deleting those too.

Kristen and others have the right to express their (incorrect) opinions, though this is a very valuable lesson for users launching their thoughts into the unforgiving Web. What you say will be around forever with one click of a button, one screen-cap, and thousands of shares. When in doubt, research what you’re saying so you don’t find yourself in a position of  forced retreat from popular Social Media venues – or in the case of Donald Trump, ostracism.

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