KRYSTLE CLEAR: Think before you post
Whenever an event of significance occurs, commentary is almost an absolute certainty. Most recently, the unfortunate tragedy involving a teacher and his two children left the nation reeling in shock.
Whilst many offered condolences, there was also much speculation around the circumstances of this event, much of which was fuelled by rumor and hearsay.
Without getting into the details of these rumors, I would like to offer a few words of caution to persons that engage in sharing information on their social media channels, particularly in instances where the grieving family members and friends have scarcely had an opportunity to grasp the fullness of the situation for themselves:
If possible, cite your sources to make a solid case. Did you see a police report? Did you have access to an autopsy? Did you have a direct conversation with a medical examiner? Are you a trained psychiatrist that can speak to anyone’s state of mind? Is there some other way that you are able to speak with absolute certainty as to the cause of death? If not, then your statements are likely an opinion that could possibly be correct but also, equally, be very, very wrong.
In the same way a public blasting was shared, so too should an apology once the error has come to light.
With that in mind, imagine how you would feel if you saw these negative statements immediately after finding out that your loved ones have perished. Are your words offering comfort or have you added to the mental anguish of someone who may already be at the brink of their sanity? If you feel that you must express these insensitive statements, can they at least be limited to private conversations that are less likely to be overheard by the persons involved in the tragedy?
And last but by no means least:
Remember, even if you delete it, social media can cling to your mistakes. Your post could be saved by someone else and recirculated. Some mistakes blow over and some take much longer to be forgotten.
Above all, please remember the next time you post, rather than playing the role of judge, jury and executioner, take a few minutes to ensure that your post is mindful and meaningful.
*Krystle Howell, CPA, CIA, COSO, ALMI, ACS, aka Mavis, is an Internal Auditor by profession, avid artist and a lover of dance.