Current Affairs

Tweet carefully

I belong to Twitter.

For those of you who don't use twitter, it's an on-line uh, social place where you can meet other people and leave short messages.

I'm still not sure how useful it is, or for what, but it's sorta interesting so every few days or so I go over there and post a sentence or two and poke around.

Last night a mother on Twitter was moaning about how her young child would not go to sleep and made a comment about wanting to smother the child.

Another mother who saw this figured out the first woman's address through her Amazon link and somehow the police were contacted and sent over to check on the kids.

The kids were fine. The mom had just been frustrated and was venting on Twitter.

Yikes. I mean seriously. Yikes.

The downside of blogging and social networking is that sometimes people forget that they're not just talking to one or two good friends who know when they're kidding with their sarcastic comments and know that they would NEVER harm a child.

The mom blogger who had the police contacted felt that if she ignored what she later described as a possible 'cry for help' and a child was harmed then she would have never been able to forgive herself.

The mom who had the police show up at her door was really ticked off at the other woman who called the police. These women have never met each other.

I can see both sides of it.

I was only on-line to witness the fall out and harsh words exchanged. I never saw the original post.

What would I have done? I have no idea. I like to think I would at least have tried to contact the frustrated mom before I called the police.

I still can't decide. Did the Mom who contacted the authorities over react completely or did she make the right call in getting involved? 

I think I'm leaning towards the over reacting side myself – but that's easy to say in hindsight.

What do you think? 

15 thoughts on “Tweet carefully

  1. Oh good lord…never in a million years would I have concluded that the woman who made that comment actually meant it. I guess I figure anyone who actually does feel that way probably wouldn’t announce their intention on Twitter before acting it out.
    You’re right, though…it is worth reminding people that they need to choose their words carefully when they communicate online.

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  2. oh my goodness. i always used to say things like: touch that again and you won’t have hands to touch anything, or once more and the end will be so horrible for you, etc. at the grocery store, to the children. still to this day as adults they laugh hysterically when i threaten with bodily harm and terror. my mother used to say to me, don’t talk like that, someone will hear you and take the children. could the other woman have not twittered a message that asked if everything was okay and say that she was supremely concerned, enough to call the police. i don’t know… seems like a very rash reaction to me.

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  3. I can see both sides as well. But now you’ve given me the extra kick in the butt to cancel my Twitter account. I was going to anyway, but was dragging my feet. I rarely use it. Thanks for the prompt.

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  4. It is most definitely hard to communicate sarcastically to those who do not know you online, especially Twitter because you can write so little there. With that being said, however I think that the police calling mom probably over reacted a bit. If the mother was going to kill her children, I doubt she’d be online twittering about it, right?
    Thanks for the EC ad! 😀

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  5. I would have to say a slight over reaction. There are more than just two choices to decide between. Ignoring the comment and calling the police in her area are very opposite ends of the spectrum. I am thinking there was a happy medium somewhere between the two.

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  6. Wow and…wow. That is crazy. I guess it just goes to show that you have to use common sense and discretion even on some-what “anonymous” social media. I agree…I think if the mom who called the police went to the trouble to track down the address, she should have Twittered back, called or something else to offer a listening ear.

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  7. I can see both sides, but I am a very sarcastic person myself, so I would have taken the original comment as sarcasm. I’ve said things like that about my kid, but not on Twitter — only among friends/family who know me and know that I’m being sarcastic and would never.
    However, I agree that the woman who contacted the police should have contacted the other woman first to see if she was okay.

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  8. Holy Cow! I guess I tend to agree that the mother who called the police misunderstood. However, how about a little restraint on the other mother’s part?! I mean a little filtering of oneself can go a long way!

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  9. I understand the feeling of “what if I didn’t do anything…” but I still think it was an over-reaction. I say a lot of things sarcastically about my kids, and I would never expect anyone to take me seriously.

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  10. I heard about that today…what have we come to, really, when we are all SO afraid? Afraid of what we do? Afraid of what we MIGHT do? Afraid of what we SHOULD have done??
    It’s enough to make me want to go crawl under a rock.

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  11. i think the one mom over-reacted.
    i would assume she was kidding… b/c didn’t that mom ever have the same type of moment?
    and truly, if someone was actually wanting to hurt their child, would they proclaim it ahead of time on such a public forum?
    gotta say, tho… the over-reacting mom was pretty ingenious to find her address.
    & can you image the cop call?? um, i don’t know this woman, but she twittered that she’s going to smother her kid. she lives about a thousand miles away. can you go help?

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