Have you ever been walking down the street and said something out loud that wasn’t intended for general broadcast? Maybe you were thinking it and it accidentally found its way to your mouth, or perhaps you didn’t think anyone would hear you. Regardless of the reason for the slip, in the past you only had to glance side to side and hope there weren’t too many people in earshot. Well, thanks to modern technology the list of people who might overhear your stupid remarks now includes the planet earth.
Twitter is the biggest threat for this type of mistake. Everything from cell phones to house plants are twitter connected, so you are GOING to have access when the urge for stupidity strikes. Not only that, but it has a handy 140 character limit, thus encouraging you to leave out any attempts at context. If the message is “I changed my mind, don’t put it in there because it is too small and I’m afraid it will make me sore and I don’t want to get it all sweaty.” You might want to specify that you are talking about packing that ill fitting pair of bicycle shorts. But that would require more than 140 characters and more than three seconds of thought. So have fun living that one down. Also, trust me on this one, the twittrix doesn’t care how itchy your balls are. Learned that one the hard way.
Facebook is another troublemaker in this area. Sure, we all like to complain about the boss every now and them, or maybe ditch your plans with a friend or family member, but Facebook is ready and willing to bite you in the ass on this one too. In this case the culprit is a little thing called the friends list. I guess having one makes you feel safe. After all, this isn’t the whole entire world. This is a hand picked list of people you carefully screen by clicking “accept” a few times. As a result, this hastily jotted down slander against your ex-girlfriend is only visible to your closest friends, after all. Unfortunately you forgot that she doesn’t know she’s your ex yet. Oh, and look at that, she’s still on your friends list. And so is that boss you said was an idiot because he didn’t realize you were stealing from the register every night. Either you need to quit keeping secrets or you need to make that friends list a little more exclusive. The Facebook problem is actually common enough to have earned its own place in the cheeseburger network, meaning it is as rampant as lol cats.
There was a time when bad mouthing your boss was only an issue if you did it to a snitch or if your boss was right behind you. Now the stupid jerk could be on a different continent and still find out you called him a stupid jerk. Not only that, but the cursory inspection you do before telling a… racially insensitive joke is never going to cut it on the net. It doesn’t matter how obscure you get. Poke fun at a lesbian albino haitian with vertigo and you’ll be getting an email from the LAHwV coalition. I’d never imagined that I might accidentally offend someone in Japan, but I almost guarantee I’ve done it by now. By now, I’ve probably offended people on every continent. Except Greenland. But Greenland is a stupid freak continent that doesn’t even count half the time… There. That’s the set.
You may have noticed that I called this post Tech Tourette’s but didn’t talk about involuntary cursing. That’s because involuntary cursing isn’t called Tourette’s. It is called coprolalia, and only SOME people with TS get it. I was focusing on the uncontrolled outbursts aspect of it specifically. I could have called the post “Technologically Facilitated Verbal Impulsivity and Its Social Ramifications,” but, seriously, would you have read it?