By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher | Social media is wonderful and amazing. It is changing the world. But we are finding, it can be dangerous and upsetting, too.
- How many family feuds have emerged from the unwise use of social media, with some relatives just plain being too open or curt?
- You know many teenagers must be hurt forever because of some slight that they perceived from the Internet. Allowing children to have unlimited use of the Internet is not disciplining today’s modern children as they should be.
- We don’t know any personal examples, but we understand that modern-day human resource officers have begun to check social media about prospective employers, with people being turned down because of their own posting that discredit them, and in such cases, not obtained employment.
- And now, of course, we have even a president of the United States who can’t refrain from commenting on social media if he feels he has been denigrated in any way. Sad.
And then you have other politicians who don’t realize that there is a danger in sounding off on social media, causing consternation and complications from their inappropriate actions. Case in point: Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter
As is often the case, Commissioner Hunter didn’t get into trouble because of any comment on official county business. He got into trouble by allowing the world to see his thoughts on something that has nothing to do with the operations of the county, except that it created problems because he was spraying his thoughts to the entire world.
My, my, my.
We suspect he and many others who have been engaged in such activity now wish that they had paused, reviewed and re-considered his words before hitting the “send” button.
Instead of thinking before sending, Mr. Hunter brought unwanted comment to him by his open thoughts. Then others came down quickly and harshly on him. Making comments of the nature as he did, in a county which is perhaps the most diverse in the United States, not only was unwise, it was entirely explosive. Of course, he was criticized. What else did he expect?
The really unfortunate part is that, Gwinnett’s explosive growth in diversity has, for the most part, been not only steady, but one with little rancor. While we have our problems caused by some parts of the diverse population, there has not been open hostility. Up until now, Gwinnett’s reputation has been virtually unblemished.
At least the sitting county commission chairman, Charlotte Nash, was quick in taking immediate action and repudiating Mr. Hunter’s remarks. The next day, the three other commissioners also joined those questioning the Hunter statements. Gwinnett residents and all Georgians should be proud that these commissioners have made these comments and “set the record” straight that such remarks are not welcomed in Gwinnett.
Mr. Hunter now has to live with his social media remarks. He will be closely watched in every vote and action he takes. He may continue to served, but his effectiveness may be difficult.
Let’s look on the bright side: perhaps even President Trump and others on social media might learn from this Gwinnett lesson, and be more discreet in their posts.