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“This Story Broke The Internet”


Almost every day we read that something “Broke the Internet” or that “Twitter went crazy.” We learn that Facebook went wild, or something similar.

All of which is pretty silly since the Internet, Twitter, and Facebook are not sentient beings. Unfortunately, it appears that neither are many of the users of those things. The Internet is a network of servers connected by various means. At it’s best it allows people to shop, communicate, research, read, and connect with each other. At it’s worst, it is used to harm people and ruin lives. The only time it ever “breaks” is when my service provider screws something up and I lose connectivity. Other than that, for the most part it just hums along doing it’s thing.

Twitter is an app that allows people to say things that they almost immediately regret. I generally do that in person, but that’s a different story. The problem with Twitter is that once it’s out there, it’s out there forever. Like a pretty young women who lets someone take compromising pictures, there is just no way to stop the world from seeing your stupidity displaying itself for the rest of eternity. Sure, you can delete the Tweet and even delete your account. Too late. Someone has saved that errant Tweet and will Retweet it without mercy. The moral there is to think before you Tweet.

Facebook is pretty much the same. I only have about a dozen “Friends”. All of whom are actually friends or family member with whom I am close. Of those, I have about half set to “Do Not Follow”. Why? Because they incessantly post stupid political comments which I don’t want to read and wish not to comment on. To be frank, I’m not 100% thrilled that my blog posts end up on Facebook. Sure, it gives me more exposure, but it also means that more people might post insulting comments or try to “out” me if they think they know who I am. I like Facebook for a couple of EMS related groups, family photos, and the occasional cute pictures of my cute grand kids. I certainly don’t consider it a source of news or a guide to how to live my life.

Nor should you.

There are other social media platforms I don’t use, so I don’t know much about them.

“Twitter” and “The Internet” don’t actually have minds to lose. They are inanimate objects made up off non sentient electrons. When they “lose their collective minds”, it’s just a reminder that no IQ test is needed to log on to the Internet or utilize the app called “Twitter”.

For some reason, it seems that the more stupid a person is, the more likely they are to “Tweet” stupid comments. Even worse, it seems that other stupid people pass the original stupid comments along as if they are some sort of “Internet Gospel.”

The sad result is that the Internet along with search engines and websites such as Facebook are becoming less useful and more tedious every day. That applies also to so called Social Media in general. People say stupid things in the heat of the moment and other people use that to try and ruin lives. As if those other people have never said or done anything stupid.

The moral of the story is to be skeptical of anything that anyone passes along to you from “The Internet”, Twitter, FaceBook, or any other Social Media.

If you are in EMS or any other form of public service or public safety, avoid these things like the plague. My former agency had a pretty strict social media policy. No posting while on the clock, no phone use while operating a vehicle, and no picture taking while on duty. Before that policy was put into place, we had some people do some pretty dumb stuff. Not as dumb as the people who have taken and posted pictures of unconscious patients or deceased victims. Not as dumb as people who put up disparaging comments about patients, co workers, or administrators. Dumb none the less and people paid the price.

One former co worker put up vacation pictures. The problem was that even though the pictures were from a couple of years ago, he was out injured from work at the time. Someone saw the pictures and reported the guy to management for potential Worker’s Compensation fraud. There was a lot of explaining to be done before he was cleared of that one.

Be very careful what you say and what you put on your social media accounts. The career you save might be your own.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.