Amanda Bynes, outwardly at least, has a greater sense of self than most people. Even though she has been melting down frequently of late, in real life and on Twitter, she is not afraid of putting her opinion out there. The following is just wrong though, both in terms of feasibility and hubris. Late last night she tweeted the following:
That is a pretty good illustration of many of the things that are so thorny about the internet:
- People tend to think that if something goes wrong on the internet or social media, they can just fix it. This may be especially true of people of a higher social stature (Hi, Alec Baldwin)
- You mostly can’t remove stories, fake or otherwise, from the internet. This is especially true of Twitter in cases such as that of Ms. Bynes. Thousands of people have retweeted Amanda Bynes’ rants and her detractors’ missives, the bases for most of the above-mentioned “lies”. It will be impossible to get everything “removed”
- Making a big stink about a personal affront could make it worse. If you act offended, whether you’re famous or not, the trolls might think they’re winning and keep up the affront (2,359 retweets! 1,870 favorites!)
How does this apply to today’s rank and file teens? One of the good things about being young is that your resume of stupid things you’ve done that others know about is probably pretty short. If you can manage it, the best course of action is to not let offending material get on the internet in the first place. If it does, try to remove it, but whether you can remove it or not, don’t fan the flames so that others pile on and make it worse.
Remember the first rule of holes: When you’re in one, stop digging.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.