There’s no way of knowing how many social media posts go out
per day that ruin someone’s personal relationship, career, political aspirations and in some cases all three. We don’t hear about most of them but the ones we do hear about should teach us all a lesson.
Whether it’s Anthony Weiner’s lewd photos of his private parts, the cast member of Glee who tweeted out plot spoilers on the hit series or female NYPD police officers who posted sexy selfies on Instagram, they each behaved the way we expect impulsive kids to act.
But the biggest social media storm of the week involves Elizabeth Lauten the woman who decided to call out the President, First Lady and his daughters by publicly chastising Sasha and Malia via Facebook.
Her Facebook apologies weren’t enough to stop the negative feedback she received and on Monday she resigned from her post as a Republican congressional aide.
Here’s part of what she wrote in her missive addressed to Sasha and Malia:
“Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department … Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised, public events.”
What’s funny to me is how people make the mistake of thinking social media rules are different than the rules for any other platform that allows you to speak your opinion. We all are responsible for what we write or say publicly. Nothing has changed.
Elizabeth Lauten said something that was perfectly acceptable in her circle.
Today if you go to her Twitter or Facebook pages they’re protected meaning you can’t see her comments unless she gives her permission. The post about the Obama girls has been taken down.
But the day before yesterday I got a peek at her comments and she was very open about her disdain for Democrats, the President, the protesters in Ferguson, etc. No surprise there. We all tend to be more outspoken when we’re addressing people who believe the way we believe.
The reason people need to be fired or are forced to resign when they something stupid, insensitive or offensive is not because they didn’t have the right to say it. It’s because they didn’t have sense enough to know the consequences of their actions and that they could possibly be detrimental to their future.
Lauten could have and probably did rant about Sasha and Malia at her office, to her church members and at home to her cats. (I told you I checked out her page. Her Twitter profile says she loves God, cats and all things pink, green and pearls. What it does not say is that as a teen she was arrested for shoplifting at Belk department store in North Carolina. )
If she hadn’t judged Sasha and Malia, who only are guilty of being normal, healthy teenagers, that arrest would never have come to the surface. Through an arrangement with the District Attorney’s office, she was able to have the charge dismissed if she stayed out of trouble for a designated time period.
Who knew that time period needed to be at least 15 years?
We can all learn something from this social media debacle yet someone right now is texting a photo or writing a comment that will be posted on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that will land them into trouble. And so it goes. Nothing has changed.
The more I learn about social media, the more I know how many ways it can ruin us. Unless another stupid thing we do gets us first.