The increase in our generation’s use of technology and social media means it’s easy for anything you post or write online to be used against you.
Since online methods of communication are such a large part of our daily lives, our biographies are now in the palm of everyone’s hands. We choose how we want to be viewed based off what our online profiles contain.
You should always think before you speak, or in this case type, when writing something on a social media site or sending an email.
Unfortunately, Rebecca Martinson, a member of the Beta Sigma Chapter of Delta Gamma at the University of Maryland, learned this lesson the hard way.
Martinson sent out an email to her entire chapter that was filled with atrocious verbal abuse directed at the other members.
The topic of the email was the previous week’s social interactions in Greek life that didn’t meet Delta Gamma’s standards.
“I do not give a flying (obscenity), and Sigma Nu does not give a flying (obscenity) about how much you (obscenity) love to talk to your sisters. You have 361 days out of the (obscenity) year to talk to sisters, and this week is NOT, I (obscenity) repeat NOT ONE OF THEM,” Martinson said in the email. The email continues with same language and tone.
Another sorority member posted this email to a social media site, including the email sender’s identity.
Martinson has since resigned; however, her words will not be forgotten. She now has this email tied to her for the rest of her life, which could potentially affect her future career.
According to ABC News, Matt Supple, director of the department of fraternity and sorority life at the University of Maryland, viewed this as “a teachable moment.”
So where is the line for what is appropriate and inappropriate when posting online?
“What you post online is a very moral and conscious decision people make. What you post, write or publish on the Internet is considered as good of a representation of yourself as the things you say or do in public,” said senior Lindsay Bowden.
“Personally, I think people should stick to the reasonable person’s standards. If a reasonable person would be offended, don’t post it.”
Social media and email were intended to allow sharing and communication within a small, close-knit group of friends.
However, with it expanding by the minute, these posts and emails can now be viewed by millions with the click of a button.
“If you are having a personal conversation, there is what is legally known as, ‘The Presumption of Privacy.’ If something is printed, conveyed and widely circulated in traditional or social media, that ‘Presumption of Privacy’ can no longer apply,” said Lee Marshall, a communication professor at CLU, in an email.
The online community has not promised to be kind. People strive to see others fall, and unfortunately, this sorority email is a prime example. Martinson sent the email, and one of her “sisters” posted the email to a social media site.
“The online community picks a new person to hate every week. She just happened to be the fad that blew up this week,” said sophomore Jordan Oram.
Awareness, morals and well-thought-out decisions can prevent someone from having their image altered.
If it’s not something that represents you to your full potential, don’t post it.
Published May 8, 2013