This video clip is from a movie called, Doubt. I have never seen this movie in its entirety but I plan on it. In this clip the character is talking about gossip. His description of gossip is really powerful. It sends a strong message.
I’d love for anyone reading this to take two minutes and fifty seconds to watch this video, then read the rest of this post.
Now let’s think about gossiping online. In a couple of clicks or taps a text, image, or screenshot can spread so fast and so far. Once it’s “out there” it’s impossible to get back. The image below is from an article called: Going viral: How ‘social contagion’ begins and escalates. It visualizes the connections we have online.
Gossip online can be a form of cyber bullying. Here are three rules regarding privacy that are not often mentioned in etiquette lists. Remember to cover these topics when you talk to your children about digital citizenship and/or cyber bullying.
1. Screenshots: Always respect the privacy of others. If some sends you an email, message, or image, don’t take screenshots and share. Whatever it is or says was directed at you, not the world at large.
2. Photos: Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with the world at large. Yes, you may have privacy settings with who you share with. However, screenshots are easy to take and share.
3. Forward/BCC: These functions are for productivity in the workplace. They are not intended for spreading gossip. To forward or BCC someone on an email is an invasion of privacy.