On the heels of my last blog ‘Anti-Social Social Media?’ came what’s now been unoriginally dubbed ‘Weinergate’. To be clear, when I wrote “I am a huge believer in connecting, building communities based on common interests and communicating…” I was not referring to risqué communiqués such as Congressman Anthony Weiner’s. There is such a thing as over-communication, over-sharing and stepping over the line.
So, how many Weiners are out there tweeting way too much information in this virtual reality? Is there any way to tell? Apparently divorces over facebook relationships are on the rise, but I have to wonder if the people involved are the ones who wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to stray anyway? No doubt Facebook facilitates, making it easier than it ever was to explore… However we’ve known a long time about high profile politicians with similar peccadilloes to Weiner’s. It’s certainly not social media that’s solely to blame for bringing it out (so to speak) in them.
I did say in my previous blog that social media does seem to bring out vitriolic anonymous commenters who’ve been dubbed “trolls”. To that comment, I’ll now add that it clearly also frees sex fiends. I’m referring to people who get addicted to easy-access free porn, like to expose themselves in chat rooms and feel compelled to “hook up” virtually (which is essentially what Weiner admits he did on more than one occasion). I have always believed the internet makes it easier for people to indulge their latent lasciviousness and therefore worried that the worldwide web may have opened the door to dangerous deeds in some.
I have to add that for all the nausea that this story brings up in me, it also raises red flags. Whenever I communicate online with business contacts and professional acquaintances who are male and married, I am very careful to keep the banter banal. If I know them well enough, I’ll often find a way to work in a hello to their wives. I don’t ever want any communication to be misinterpreted in what can be a slippery slope of social media communication.
So, in the wake of Weinergate, beware! As interconnective as social media can be and with all the personal and professional positives that it can bring, clearly it can also lead some down a lurid lane that ends in lewdness and lies.