PROFILE PHOTO COURTESY OF KIMBERLEY KUFAAS PHOTOGRAPHY Tyson’s Thoughts is a weekly column posted every Thursday at and in print the following Wednesday. Have some thoughts about my thoughts? email

Tyson’s Thoughts: Social media warfare, don’t do it

I see a lot of comments on our Facebook page that just make me shake my head sometimes.

What to write about this week.

How about let’s discuss the idea of being respectful to others on social media and why so many people are oblivious to the damage that words can cause?

I see a lot of comments on our Facebook page that just make me shake my head sometimes.

There’s borderline harassment, slander, general rudeness, and back and forth mudslinging that seems to go on and on and on for days without end.

It’s like people can’t accept someone having a different opinion than them and they get so mad they literally will go to any lengths to prove themselves right by fighting back till the bitter end.

I really shouldn’t be surprised by this, but the majority of people who post comments like the ones I’m referring to seem to think they are safe behind their keyboard and can’t get in any trouble for posting disrespectful statements on the internet.

Well, you’re wrong.

You can get in trouble for the things you say online, one of which is having your posts deleted and then being blocked from the North Island Gazette’s Facebook page. If you have a differing opinion on something that’s totally fine you are welcome to politely have your say, but if you are liking offensive posts or responding to/making them yourself, I don’t want you posting on our page.

There is zero need to attack people while trying to make a point online. It just makes you look uneducated and belligerent.

I can’t believe I’m actually even having to write this, but please, think before you post.

Would you say the exact same comment to the person’s face? If not, you probably shouldn’t hit the send button and make it visible for everyone to see.

Common sense, people. Use it. It’s not hard to pause for a second or two and quickly think about the ramifications of your actions before you do something.

What’s more, what kind of example are you setting for youth who might see your comments online and think it’s appropriate to post awful things like that?

Children need to be taught at an early age how to use devices like social media properly and how to behave online appropriately.

Clearly, some people were never taught this themselves growing up, which I suspect is due to the generational gap where their own parents grew up without using computers so they had no idea what their kids were getting up to on the internet.

Now we have a bunch of adults who never learned to be respectful online when they were kids that are setting bad examples for their own children, most likely without even realizing they’re doing it.

That’s a problem, and one I don’t like seeing on the Gazette’s social media platforms.

“THINK” before you post. I’ll even spell it out below:

Is is True?

Is it Helpful?

Is is Inspiring?

Is it Necessary?

Is it Kind?

Following these guidelines will lead to better online communication and more understanding in this digital age where everyone is able to post their opinions for the whole world to see and critique.

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