I’ve been so consumed with the situation in Japan these days that I missed something completely on the home front. If you’re a UCLA student, or if you watch Tosh.0, ABC news, or youtube (basically the story is everywhere), then you have probably watched, or at least heard about, the video that was made by a girl regarding a particular ethnicity at UCLA. The girl that made these comments is in serious trouble—she has even received death threats apparently. As someone that uses the internet to post my personal thoughts and opinions on a daily basis, I think this situation is an excellent reminder not just for me, but for everyone, that we need to watch our words.
I suppose it is freedom of speech—that’s why this girl is not getting expelled. But when the words that we speak are malicious, racist, or offensive, I believe that they are inappropriate to be publicized. Especially on the Internet. Nearly overnight this girl and her comments became a web sensation; probably because she simply posted the video to a friend’s page.
Which brings me to my next point; nothing is private on the Internet. Once you post something, your private property quickly becomes public display. Nothing is off limits online and words and pictures can easily be transformed or set in a different context. As a daily blogger, I am always trying to be mindful of how my thoughts are being conveyed through writing. It’s a challenge because people love to read about gossip, mean comments, and scandalous reports—why do you think this girl’s video blew up in a matter of hours?
So whether you’re leaving comments on Facebook or blogging like me, let us be mindful of our thoughts, words, and actions. People may perceive your comments differently than you intended and it is better to have clarity in your work than sensationalism in your style.