With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Before we begin, let’s take a moment to recognize Stan Lee for providing a phrase to sum up so many situations. No, I was not bitten by a radioactive spider but these words have never been truer.

Social media has made a great big world seem just a little smaller. It allows us to communicate more frequently, and in fewer words, than ever before. News can travel at the speed of 140 characters, updates can be made to thousands of people with one simple post and where once our verbal message could only be transmitted one-to-one, the world now hears. Great news, right?  Maybe.

I understand that Weiner has left politicians Twitter-tired, but there’s a good reason. Aside from pictures from below-the-belt, there are other things politicians don’t need to share.

We were recently asked to welcome our President to the Twitterhood.    Imagine the tweets?

  • Hey all signing some legislation while watching Gossip Girl. That Blaire kills me!
  • @mrspresidentobama I totally left the stove on this morning! Oopsies!
  • Eating scrambled eggs & fries at this great place on corner of 7th & F

Sometimes public figures are meant to just be that. While he is likely a really good, thoughtful guy, we shouldn’t know “the softer side” of the Prez. The world should see a leader and not the fact he watches the Next Food Network Star.  And if he’ll just be using it to make public announcements, he’s breaking Twitter Engagement Rule #1!

And now, when good tweets, turn bad.

The little billionaire who could…did.  He used the power of Twitter to destroy his wife with the public declaration that he had not just cheated on her but was now leaving her for his mistress.  Judgments on their marriage aside, really!!??  He ends his 140 character marriage annihilation begging forgiveness and admitting his shame. Maybe this is the modern take on the ancient notion of admitting your sins publically. Scarlet A anybody? Twitter witch trials? If you can type in 140 characters or less while submerged in water – you are in trouble.   And whatever happened to post-its?

While this is just one example, sadly, there have been worse. Twitter and Facebook are wonderful communication tools to keep in touch and stay up to date but when it comes down to real, personal stuff, maybe not so much.  In a time when anybody and everybody can shout from the rooftops, we will see who takes the opportunity with grace and who just airs dirty laundry.



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