By now, everyone should know that I am not a member of the Grammar Nazi Club. I don’t care about typos. I don’t care if someone uses there instead of they’re. I don’t believe that how we spell, or whether or not we can use every word in the English language correctly, is any indicator of our intelligence. In case you’ve forgotten, I am a typo queen and beta readers and spellcheck are my BFFs. Forever. Literally.
There are four things that bug me when I’m online though – people who take things out of context to put the worst possible spin on a story, haters, cyber bullies … and not checking facts before sharing something.
I wake up to anywhere from fifty to a hundred social media notifications – sometimes more – every single day. As you can imagine, depending on what they are, it can take a while to get through them all.
For instance, if someone ‘liked’ one of my posts, I don’t need to do anything. If someone comments, I need to check it out … and usually respond. Anything else, I generally check because I like to find out the latest on GMOs, weather, etc…
Some of those posts are for missing people and pets. Like everyone else, if it’s a legitimate crisis, I want to share the information too. I don’t have to know someone (or a dog or cat) to care about their safety … I just do.
But I always check to make sure the post is still relevant before I click that share button.
What do I mean? It’s actually very easy and today, I finally took the time to make a visual aid.
This morning, I saw an alert about a missing special needs child. Turns out, the story was two years old and the little girl died. Yet people continue to assume it’s a current emergency and would rather be safe than sorry, so they click that share button.
My feeling is, a family lost a child. This is something you never get over. You learn to live with it, but you never stop missing your child. So maybe today, that family is having a good day – until they log into Facebook and see the missing person alert for their daughter. That’s got to be like rubbing salt into a raw, open wound.
As you can see in the visual aid, it’s not that hard to check to see if a story is still current. Please take the time to check it out before you share it. Really. It only takes a minute or two. You don’t have to read every post. Just a quick skim and you’ll soon know whether the person or pet is still missing.
One more thing…
Last week, I saw someone on Facebook post that they’d just heard an acquaintance died, and did anyone know if was true. All I could think is what if a family member who hadn’t been reached yet saw that post? What a way to find out a loved one had passed away.
Yeah, internet etiquette … it’s more important than we realize.