Less than 50 years ago the only modes of communication were by phone, often with time restrictions, and by letter – now a notion romanticized by rom-coms and historical dramas. Before the invention of the internet, or rather social media, no one had to worry about what they said over the phone or in a letter; a phone call could be forgotten, a letter burned or thrown away.
Today, it is far too easy to write something up, be it email, text, or social media status, and send it off into the complicated world of technology. It takes two seconds to think of something and press send, and it takes even less time for the ramifications to come back and bite you.
We see it every day on the news: Celebrities being torn apart for an ill-timed or badly-worded joke, the press scrutinizing the President’s every character on Twitter. While this attention may not ruin a celebrity’s life or career, small businesses and establishments such as a pizza place or a school can be detrimentally effected by a simple miscommunication.
All it takes is an angry citizen to get hold of something and post it on social media for a maelstrom of negativity and widespread recognition to occur. Social media begets hate, and often does not allow those who made a mistake in a post or an email to correct themselves before the damage is done.
There is a quick solution to this, though not a bullet proof one: Editing.
Taking a pause before hitting send, especially for a business or other local establishment, is essential in making sure miscommunications don’t happen – or are at least less likely to. Though there are positive sides to the speed and wide reach of social media – like if there really is something wrong with a business or establishment it can be identified and brought to the attention of the public quickly and effectively – it is not the greatest platform for mistakes.
When errors in emails or posts happen, they don’t just go away. They get shared and remain on the internet forever, unwittingly popping up at the least opportune times, potentially causing problems in the future.
The internet can be a friend, or an enemy, and a simple fact check or contextual edit can be the deciding factor for which one it is.