I recently watched a TV program called #killerpost on my favorite channel CI (Crime & Investigation). The use of “#” on the title indicates that the series has something to do with social media. The fact that it is aired on CI and the term”killer” say what it is about quite lierally: real cases where simple clicks on social media turn into murders.
Don’t get your hopes too high, though, I am not writing about #killerpost the tv program, although it is clearly correlated, but I am certain what I’m going to share is relatable to our daily social media habits. The internet seems to affect our lives and our relationships with others, more than we may expect. For better or worse.
Let me ask you these:
- How often do you feel irritated by your contacts’ posts to the point that you think this isn’t right and you have to say something?
- How many contacts have you unfriended?
- How many times have you reported a post or an account?
I have my answers:
- Too often, at least once a day in the past month.
- One in the past month.
- At least five, in the past month.
Now, you may think that most of those annoying posts are political or religious in nature. That may be right, given that this country’s political & religion-related tensions has been escalating, starting from the pre-Jakarta provincial elections to the aftermath of the governor’s 2-year sentence for blasphemy, a decision that has split the nation like never before. People figuratively kill each other with posts and comments to a post.
Let us not talk about it, at least not yet. Let’s go into more generic things we, social media citizens, decide to post. What we assume to be an innocent party picture can be harmful in the eye of some beholders. Somebody may feel left out and this can potentially lead to an open argument. I saw it happen. A jealous wife who goes beserk after seeing a photo of her hubby with female colleagues (I received a plea from such a husband to take down a picture I shared online). An employee who receives warning from a company after posting a disgruntled statement about a delayed payday. A daughter who needs to clarify to the public after being targeted for her celebrity mother’s Twitter rants. An angry girl whose insensitive Facebook post blamed a religious ritual for a traffic she was stuck into gets ousted from the region by angrier crowds. We have witnessed or read such ‘killerpost’ cases.
Family, company, society. At least these three should be our warning alarm when it comes to posting stuff on social media. Is it safe for my family? Does my family want to see this? Is it safe for my work? What will my boss say if he sees my post? Is it safe for my social welfare if I post this? Or will a certain group of people attack me? Will I be ready to deal with them? This applies not only to images or statuses you originally post, but also to your comments to someone else’s posts and what you repost online, thanks to confusing social media algorithms that decide what goes and what does not go to your contacts’ timelines.
We may be able to control what we post, but we can’t control what other people post. As the saying goes: bla… bla… bla…., but you can control your reaction. Your reaction is what you decide to do or not do after seeing a post that triggers a certain emotion in you. It’s totally everybody’s call. Human to human relationships can be hurt by killerposts. Some people have big hearts, they can easily forgive and forget. Some others take on the angry rants lane and get involved in long, exhausting battles of arguments online. There are also people who do silent abandonment; they are familiar to ‘mute’, ‘unfollow’, ‘unfriend’, and ‘block’ features. I recently fell into the 3rd. I have unfollowed a few people because of the extreme nature of their posts: contacts who posted hatred toward others, those who shared pictures of dead bodies, and those who shared hoaxes (doesn’t matter whether they were aware if they were hoaxes). People with these gravity magnet tendencies. Even if you share the same religion as I do, believe in the same political figures as I do, and share a similar cause, if I detect an extreme or fanatic pattern in your posts that go beyond my logic, I may still unfollow you for my own good.