Bad choices gone viral

03/06/2014 3:00 PM

02/15/2015 10:39 AM

Because of social media and the web, bad things can happen to people who have made certain life choices.

I suppose we can debate what constitutes bad judgment all day long. Let us just say that the penalty for risky behavior has escalated dramatically.

In the old, pre-Twitter, days, some college athletes took cash and other bennies under the table. But they didn’t have a super-easy way to blab about it to the world. Then social media came along, and the NCAA’s job of discovering rule violations suddenly became easier. Just track players’ Twitter feeds for updates about shopping sprees and South Beach excursions.

In the old, pre-Twitter, pre-Internet days, if a student at a prestigious Southern institution of higher education decided to moonlight in porn films, this might have flown under the radar, if the student was lucky. Yeah, no more.

In the old pre-Instagram days, if high school girls managed to get themselves photographed in the altogether, these pictures wouldn’t have been suddenly accessible to thousands of eyeballs. Now they are, in 2014.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media have now made it possible to instantly share (or have shared for you) all of life’s choices.

This is not a good thing in many instances. I am extremely glad that Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were not around when I was a kid, is all I’m saying.

The Editors' Blog

Top editors answer questions and talk about The N&O's print and online news reporting. Contributors are John Drescher, executive editor, and senior editors Dan Barkin, Steve Riley and Linda Williams. Follow @John_Drescher and @dbarkin on Twitter.

Join the Discussion

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service