Social Media provides everyday people with the power to share their thoughts and doings. Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, Instagram, and Snapchat all bear the stories of others, and it is these apps that make it easier than ever to create your story. Now, with the use of social media, information can travel from a small town to the other side of the world in a matter of minutes. However, false, or even private information can now surf the web at unimaginable speeds. Even though there are many good things about social media, like how it actually improves relationships, it can still easily be used for less kindly things.
Many social media apps provide users with usernames. These usernames (as well as avatars, profile pictures, and bios) can change a person’s behavior online, often giving them a false sense of security behind a screen name. This is part of the Proteus Effect. Of course it’s easier and often more acceptable to speak your mind online than it is in real life, yet this opens the door for someone to be personally targeted online. This is especially seen on Twitter where tweets are directed at others, without any name attached.
So, aiming a tweet at someone else brings up the question, can a targeted tweet be justified? To clarify, a targeted tweet isn’t the same thing as bullying, it is only to suggest something, instead of an outright attack. After all it is just speaking your mind, sharing your ideas, exactly what social media is used for. Most targeted tweets aren’t aggressive, and are usually very implicit and cryptic. Although they are left without context, leaving them to be open to interpretation. Frequently, these aimed responses are what everyone else is thinking, but afraid to say. Personally, I enjoy finding these kinds of tweets because it shows that kids are still willing to voice their true opinions, even if it isn’t the popular view. Today, everything has become so politically correct, it can be crude to flat out say what you think, so I believe in the importance in not being afraid to get your stance out there. That’s not to say just be rude about everything, but if you have an opinion about something you shouldn’t be afraid to support and fight for your side. While, in the end, you still are going to have to be careful about what you say. Just remember, you have to say what you mean and mean what you say.