While Twitter may feed into the instant gratification needs of current fast-paced society, it also enhances another problematic aspect of human nature.
The problem is speaking before thinking, and most of us do it from time to time, but with Twitter we can do it much more easily and instead of embarrassing ourselves in front of a room full of people or the water-cooler crowd, we can embarrass ourselves in front of hundreds, maybe thousands or even millions.
If you happen to be as foolish and unlucky as Voula Papachristou was, you could become the new poster-child for bad Twitter posts.
The Greek triple-jumper was kicked off the Greek Olympic team after her tweet was deemed racist.
The 23-year-old athlete was a bit of a media darling before the incident, according to the stories after the fact, but her tweet did not win her any friends or fans in the black community.
“With so many Africans in Greece … at least the West Nile mosquitos will eat homemade food!!!,” she wrote.
The Twitter comment was after she also reposted comments by a right-wing Greek politician who criticized the country’s immigration policies.
The young athlete did not think the punishment fit the crime, so she continued to eat foot instead of crow, and thus she is still watching the Olympics on television instead of being in them.
Then there was Anthony Weiner, remember him? His wasn’t as much “foot-in-mouth” as much as it triggered a hand-over-mouth reaction instead.
The U.S. Congressman resigned after admitting to using Twitter to send suggestive photos to women, none of whom were his wife.
“Weinergate” some dubbed it.
Both of these incidents, and a multitude of others show just how poor our judgement can be at times, and a bit of time to think and reflect on our thoughts instead of broadcasting them uncensored to millions can be a good thing.
I enjoy Twitter, and partially it may be for the very reasons I am outlining above, it can be fun to read uncensored diatribes on random topics from a broad spectrum of interesting people.
Especially when those diatribes are limited to 140 characters or less.
It is also nicer than reading some people’s too-personal Facebook updates with over-shared details for the same reason, less characters means less over-sharing.
Now if only we could filter out the too-revealing self-portraits, especially those with the “duck-face.”
Or maybe even the over-sharing of every detail of a person’s offpsrig’s actions. Just a note for parents out there, we do not all need to know what your child just said, pooped or barfed, cute as it may be at the time.