So unless you have by hiding under a rock for the last 10 or 12 years we all know in this day and age social media is our life line. We cannot eat, sleep or work unless we check our Facebook, twitter or instagram at least 20 times a day. Slight exaggeration maybe but you would be surprised!
But when is social media too much, I say when innocent people are dragged through the mud thanks to some hyped up passive aggressive keyboard warrior!
Unfortunately this type of social media activity is rampant in today’s society.
Yesterday a disgruntled driver uploaded a video of a truck driver driving rather erratically and endangering the lives of fellow drivers. I do not blame him for warning others as those roads are heavily trafficked. And I understand his frustration at nearly being ran off the road by a careless driver. Unbeknown to the drivecam operator there are at least 3 trucks in the area with the same paint scheme owned by different drivers. These trucks were sold off to individual truckies or truckers as some of you know them, by a fleet company and they were all painted in a distinct colour scheme.
So here is where the danger begins, the video was shared to a well known radio station who is highly political and loves a good lynch mob story and of course immediately began doing the social media rounds and of course everyone and their dog got on there shouting profanities and what not.
Sadly in the mix of all this uproar a few innocent truck drivers who happened to have similar vehicles were harassed. Though those trucks had similar features to the one in the video they were also distinctively different in that major visible components on their trucks were different colours to the one in the video and even though this was glaringly obvious to those who knew these drivers their memory chose to remember what they saw in the video and convince them that they knew who this erratic driver is.
The names of the innocent drivers and where they possibly parked their trucks were also shared on social media. They endured countless phone calls and messages from people they know asking if it was them in the video. IT WASN’T THEM even calls from their bosses! This is horrendous as these innocent hardworking men could have easily lost their jobs due to mistaken identity. And even after it had been reported that many social media users had incorrectly implicated the wrong drivers people still continued.
Now people I know we are all angry and we have all had some sort of injustice thrown our way and we have every right to be angry if a driver cuts us off and inadvertently endangers our life and that of others. It is seen in tragic news stories every day. But before you get behind that keyboard and get all gung ho about the issue, really think about what you are saying and who you are saying it about especially because with every person that might be guilty out there, there are a number of innocent people who look similar or have something similar and they are being harassed and ridiculed for something they didn’t do.
Save the detective work for the police and I think media outlets should be more responsible when it comes to allowing the general public to play vigilanty and if they need to name and shame make sure they have the correct details before they let these videos be published.
I am sorry if I have been raving on too much, but this hit a personal cord and a family member was one of those innocent drivers who was harassed due to this incident. So please think twice before submitting your comments and if you think you know who it is please do not put personal details on social media for a million people to see. Because even though you think in your mind you know who it is, chances are you can be very wrong and an innocent person can have his whole life ruined by these comments.
If you got to the bottom of this post, thank you so much for reading. I hope that this has helped you realise one of the dangers of social media in today’s world.