Social-media discretion

Published 2:14 am Thursday, December 21, 2017

Times aren’t changing. They’ve already changed. Social media has had an immeasurable impact on how society, top to bottom, behaves.

There are few times like this week where it’s this evident. Many people figure out all they need — or rather, want — to know about, for example, the tax reforms by reading headlines and easily digested snippets that can be found on platforms like Twitter.

Oftentimes, those who do read in depth are only seeking out slants that support their own beliefs. Then, instead of taking part in educated debates, people have the option to attack others behind the anonymity of the internet.

Of course, this isn’t everyone, but it’s prevalent enough where it’s become a real problem.

While this is especially pervasive in politics, the changes are felt everywhere. Take, for example, the early signing that took place Wednesday for college-football recruits. Now, these are 17- or 18-year-old high schoolers committing to further their education. They have earned opportunities to continue playing the sport they love at a high level.

Fans often don’t consider this. Outlets like Twitter showcase the reason why the word “fan” is derived from “fanatic.” For instance, some fans of other schools expressed their disappointment when North Carolina product and five-star defensive lineman K.J. Henry announced his commitment to Clemson.

Others aren’t as lighthearted in their commentary. One Twitter user had a harsh message for another Tar Heel state product. When Zamir White, a top running back recruit, signed with Georgia, said user wrote, “Go back to NC.”

These are mild examples. The recruiting cycle is also full of players decommiting and flipping to other schools. Fans come out of the woodwork then to harass players who are ultimately still children.

The internet has its good. Scouring various social-media platforms will also turn up an outpouring of support for each of these bright, young athletes that just made a decision on their future.

The world — online and offline — would be a much better place if there was more of that.