Would you say the same thing in an interview as you post on Twitter?
What used to be mindless banter between followers has turned into source material for public opinion.
Case in point is Jay Cutler’s knee injury and how quickly this rose to a story of national prominence. By the end of the third quarter in Sunday’s game public opinion was crushing Cutler’s actions fanned by the flames of Twitter.
By yesterday morning the lead story on every station and in every paper was Jay Cutler, not the Green Bay Packers, the team going to the Super Bowl.
As it turns out Jay Cutler did have an injury to his knee causing all those who commented to alter their course ever so slightly, but the damage had been done.
In the instantaneous stream of social media there are few filters. Twitter has become the ticker tape of life, the endless stream of data that each of us carries attached to our hip.
We’ve seen the power of Twitter in saving lives during emergencies like Haiti. We now also know that Twitter can instantaneously call into question and destroy a football player right before our eyes.
I’ve never seen anything quite like this in my two years as a Twitter user. A post game press conference at which most of the questions were related to tweets made during the game.
I’ve also never witnessed such a viral vilification of an individual. Twitter provided a platform for the irrelevant to become relevant again in questioning Cutler’s toughness. The media took it and ran in a rush to judgment in absence of facts.
Twitter makes it easy for us to speak before we think. Spontaneous tweets can often come at the expense of thoughtfulness. Those tweets, however, are part of the permanent record and can come back to bite you. In this case it may happen to some.
From the first tweet 5 years ago Twitter has evolved from a mobile status update service to a permanent archive of our society in the Library of Congress.
The innocence of Twitter is gone. It now matters what you say on Twitter.
This is the new power of Twitter.