Comments of Passion

I love that term — it pretty much captures the reasons for flaming, sexting, and other regretful internet sharing moments. I read this phrase in a post by Margarita Tartakovsky, where she pretty much shares the work of Dr. Tristan Gorrindo.

The overall message: Think before you post something that might not be so smart to have forever captured in cyberspace. What should a person think about is summed up in the acronym “WAIT” — for Wide audience (who and how many might read this?), Affect (what emotions am I feeling right now and am I able to make a rational decision?), Intent (will I be understood properly?), and Today (Can this wait a day?).

While I see the benefits to this brief series of considerations, some don’t seem to fit. The main one being “today.” The answer to the question “Can this wait a day?”, for the most part, will always be “no.” The internet and social networking are so immediate, that waiting a day to post a comment is akin to saying something in an empty room — no one, including the immediate recipient of the comment — will ever see it. While I am all for thinking about the consequences of posting something before actually doing it, perhaps the “T” should really be for “Tomorrow” as in “How will I feel tomorrow after everyone reads my post?”

And I totally agree with Tartakovsky’s statement that adults can benefit from following these steps just as much as youth. In my own Facebook account, I have read posts about drunken vomiting, pubic hair, and baby poop. Wonder how many of those posts I would have read if someone WAITed before they broadcast those news items?

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