Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Dangers Of Social Media

Last year on New Years Eve, a woman by the name of Holly Jones posted a pretty scathing review of her night at a place in Bloomington called Kilroy's. Here's just a part of what she said:

“Every year we have come to Kilroys to enjoy New Years Eve and tonight we were screamed at and had the manager walk away from us while were trying to figure out our bill being messed up (sic),” Jones, a hairdresser who works at Serenity Salon in Indianapolis, wrote on Facebook. 

“The manager also told us someone dying was more important then (sic) us being there making us feel like our business didn’t matter, but I guess allowing a junkie in the building to overdose on your property is more important than paying customers who are spending a lot of money.”
What she didn't know was that the "junkie" wasn't a junkie, but a woman suffering from a heart attack. The restaurant's owner posted back, telling her that he was sorry that she had a rough time at dinner with her friends, but that it was actually caused by a patron suffering a heart attack, and that is why they had a difficult time dealing with her bill instead of caring for the woman whose health was failing.

She suffered a huge backlash. It was a case of "web-shaming" at its worse, if not most deserved. She had worked for a short time at a hairstylist salon, but she was fired after all their clients planned a boycott and posted Facebook ratings of one star until they got rid of her.

She went into hiding and deleted her Facebook account--and you'd feel a little bit worse for her if she hadn't first posted that someone had hacked into her account, and that she wasn't responsible for the post.

If there is one good thing that came out of this, the backlash did at least motivate people to give to a GoFundMe account for the victim's family for her hospital bills, which was funded through the internet (including patrons of Kilroy's as well as Holly Jones's former hair salon). This caused people from all over the world to respond to her fit by donating to the family in a way that more than covered her hospital bills, at least as far as I could tell by this posting.

I post this because of a couple of incidents that happened within 5-1 last year, and the reason I don't let my students text during school, even during indoor recess. Social media can really haunt you if you post something...well, stupid.

You see, Holly Jones was old enough to know better than to post something like that without having all the facts. In fact, I'm going to guess that she expected to be patted on the back for it instead of receiving the rakes and torches of the townspeople of the planet Earth. Your kids are not old enough to know better, and if the past year was any indication, they just aren't old enough to take into consideration the ramifications of their online posts on things like Instagram, Snapchat,, or Twitter (or Lord knows what other infernal conduit kids will have to bully one another).

This is a modern cautionary tale. Kids, don't be like this grown woman and say something that you will regret, that is caught on screen captures no matter how hard you delete your accounts. Think. This will save you from everybody in class talking about something that happened outside of class, and of having you have to explain it to Mr. Carter.

It will also save Mr. Carter from having to deal with something like this while he should be doing normal, expected teacher things. So don't be a Holly Jones. Yeah, that would be great. Thanks.

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