This week the news carried the story of a young man, a high school senior, who was a football star as well as an honor student, who was not only expelled from school, but who also lost his scholarships to top universities such as Brown, Harvard, and several others who were all courting him. Why?? Because he foolishly 'tweeted' some vile statements and racist sentiment. I was amazed to learn that colleges, and employers check all the social media (Facebook, etc.) to find any incriminating statements which may have been made by their applicants.
This is just one more example of how the internet can 'do us in'. Internet has become so much a part of our daily communication that it has become 'second nature' to us. An inordinate amount of our time is now spent texting. Young people and even older people are being texted that their 'relationship is over'. As one of my friends call texting...'cold communication'. For me it is great to let someone know "I'm running late" or "meet me at...in five minutes". But I'm sorry, a text does not cover everything..."so sorry to hear about your mother's death" simply doesn't 'cut it'.
Nothing can replace a voice!! Thank God we still have the phone (which doesn't even replace a visit when there is a heavy duty situation). Speaking of phones, while they can be our GPS, our restaurant finder, and our means of bank depositing, they most importantly can be our 'warmest means of communication'. Just the intonation voiced in a reply to something or an attempt at consoling someone, can make all the difference if 'heard' on the phone. How many kids have lost friends because they sent an email or text about something they thought about someone. It can be misinterpreted and even passed around so that everyone finds out what may be our innermost thoughts written in a way that they become negative rather than positive.
And the pictures that are sent on facebook!!! Puleeze be careful...a simple picture can rise to haunt you. Your body and your thoughts are "yours". Sometimes it's nice to share with others, and good wishes from people from Facebook can be very wonderful (as they were on my birthday when I heard from people I hadn't heard from in 40 years!), but please, be discriminating as you write. And for heaven's sake, take the time to 'go' into the kitchen from your living room to tell your wife
something important. Next thing you know we'll be texting each other while lying in bed together!! And eventually we'll be texting the sex!!
Just wanted to take some time to kind of 'warn you' or 'remind you' of how much your evey word says about you. And if God forbid you wind up in court one day arguing that you never said that which you are accused of, be sure you only 'said it' and didn't 'text it'!!
Hope you enjoyed this session. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you all...will be in more touch in the following weeks.
Mimi Scott, Ph.d