So this week a thing happened in my “hometown social media world” that got
a lot of people me fired up.
It started with the threat of inclement weather and a student tweeting to the school district’s Twitter account asking for schools to be closed the next day. Not a big thing … except … the student spelled “tomorrow” as “tammarow” in his tweet.
In a brilliant move, the school district’s Twitter account wrote back: “But then how would you learn how to spell ‘tomorrow?’ :)”
And suddenly the internet exploded with two things: 1) virtual high-fives (and lots of retweets) of the cheeky banter between @FCPSMaryland and the student, and 2) intense cries of “Cyber-shaming!” “Bullying!” “Inappropriate!” “Unprofessional!”
It was while reading those negative reactions (paragraphs and paragraphs of them) that I felt the need to speak out and say:
People of the world: just STOP a second and relax.
And in the words of my teenage son, “Just chill, man.”
Was the reply from @FCPSMaryland really THAT bad? Really?!
Of course it wasn’t.
It seems to me that folks these days take every opportunity online to escalate tiny moments into the most extreme (and negative) version of themselves. It’s not just the saga of this innocent tweet, it’s the fact that we’re constantly making mountains out of molehills everywhere, at every opportunity.
One look at my Facebook feed each week confirms this to be true. Hostility and condemnation is there, and it’s exhausting.
Look, I’m not a jerk. I get that it’s important to be sensitive and kind and nonjudgmental. I like to think that anyone who knows me in real life considers me to be a pretty decent human being. I don’t go online and engage in negative commentary or aggressive behavior, and I’m not comfortable when others do.
I do, however, appreciate the lighter side of life and the need to stop being so dramatic about ALL. THE. THINGS.
So how about we all just all sit back and give each other the benefit of the doubt, shall we? Assume positive intent.
Update: FCPS actually fired the person behind their social account a few days after this article was written. Holy overreaction, Batman!
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