First let me say, we are using social media, we are not the media. It seems that people are getting confused. In the rush to newsjack, people are using their social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook to “report the news.” This is resulting in misreports, false reports and people creating fake photos to get retweeted or shared. Please think twice before you retweet a photo or share an update. Use your personal network to help if possible by sharing from the true government sources.
People are tweeting and retweeting the Boston Police Department scanner.
The Massachusetts State Police needs to ask that media do not broadcast video.
“Thought leaders” are rushing to tell people how to tweet. Have we lost our ability to rationally think and use common sense? I don't need a thought leader to tell me what to do or how I should do things. Aren't leaders supposed to lead by example and not pass their personal judgement? There's a few people whose fingers must really hurt from all the pointing they did. I'm the leader of my own thoughts, thank you very much.
In our shared emotional state this week people were mean, harsh and downright unprofessional. Please think before you tweet angry words. Tragedies are scary and everyone deals with things in their own way. Some people shut down, some people like to discuss and share and others like to try to carry on with life to keep things as normal as possible. Just because something is your way, doesn't make it right or someone else's wrong.
“It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Some rational thoughts from the crowd:
“Still, I'm not sure when is the right time to tweet or when I am offending someone. The truth is this: the fact that I have to worry about offending others and being the subject of an “so and so simply doesn't get it” type of piece makes me want to delete all of my social media accounts. I'm human. I have emotions. I want to share. I'm not trying to be a jerk. I'm not trying to be insensitive. I'm also not trying to capitalize on a tragedy for my own financial gain. If you follow those rules… and follow your heart when it comes to what feels right to you – as an individual or a brand – isn't that the best social media strategy? Otherwise, aren't we just turning Twitter and Facebook and everything else into this strange, homogenous and sanitized mass media channel that we all revolted against in the first place?”
Please look to reputable news sources for your news and look to social media folks for their social media smarts. Just because you can tweet the news, it doesn't make you Anderson Cooper or Diane Sawyer. In our need to share the news, we are hurting the actual reporting of the news. Let's be smarter next time.
Photo credit Ti.mo