Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Social Media: More Hot Water Than a Tea Kettle

Here’s a recent news headline: “Police advised to be careful with posts on social media.” Apparently, many cops have gotten into hot water because of foolish comments on various websites, such as Satan’s Book, er, I mean, Facebook. It’s not just police officers who are posting snarky comments that may seem funny and clever at the moment, but when read days later by the entire community, come across as completely nasty and hateful.

People in other occupations are losing their jobs, too, because of foolish posts. For example, a woman in Texas was about to start a new job at a daycare center. Before leaving the house for her first day of work, she wrote this on Facebook: “I just really hate being around a lot of kids.”

As soon as her new employer found out — surprise, surprise! — she got her wish: she no longer had a job around a lot of kids.
Teachers seem to be especially prone to ill-advised social media comments. A teacher in the Bronx, NY, visited the Facebook pages of his students, and when the students posted photos of themselves, the teacher would comment, “This is sexy.” The creepy teacher was fired, which is no small feat, given how hard it is to get rid of bad teachers in NYC.

Speaking of bad teachers in New York, a group of 6th graders from Manhattan went on a field trip to the beach, and tragically one of them drowned. Later that day, a teacher in Brooklyn wrote this on her Facebook page: “After today, I’m thinking the beach is a good trip for my class. I hate their guts.”

When someone responded, “Wouldn’t you throw a life jacket to [one of your students]?” she quickly responded, “No, I wouldn’t for a million dollars.”

Well, isn’t that sweet? This teacher was fired, but a New York court overturned her dismissal, and apparently, she is now back in the classroom molding the impressionable minds of the children she loves so much.

A quick internet search found stories about many teachers who posted photos of themselves on Instagram. However, since the photos clearly showed that the teachers were totally drunk but not totally dressed, there were serious repercussions when school officials found out. Also, I’m guessing the drug paraphernalia in plain sight made it a bit tougher for the teachers to plead their case.
Getting back to the news story I first mentioned, the warning to police officers in Connecticut to be careful with social media was prompted by a cop in Hartford. He allegedly posted a photograph of a busy city intersection and commented on all the “parasites” who live in that particular neighborhood. Then, just in case you weren’t sure about his attitude toward the people he is paid to serve, he added a suggestion that someone should “call in an airstrike.”

I think the chiefs of police in our state should not tell their officers to be careful when using social media. Instead, I think they should prohibit them from having social media accounts at all.

OK, you’re correct. That would violate a whole bunch of constitutional rights. But maybe the chiefs could let the officers know that if they insist on having personal social media accounts — whether they post anything nasty or not — they will be assigned to work only the 3rd shift and be forced to drive the clunky cruiser with no heat.

Or maybe the cops and teachers could simply realize that Facebook was invented by Satan. Well, that’s an exaggeration. Zuckerberg is only a junior demon.
I can think of no better New Year’s resolution than to delete your Facebook account. It just may save your job — and your soul.

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