Making Mistakes, Post-Internet

Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash

In the internet age, widespread witch hunting and social media monitoring makes it less and less likely to recover from even a simple mistake. Or does it?

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A few posts ago, I wrote about the chances of your post eventually becoming fodder for the next great internet witch hunt. However, in that post I was only considering the chances of something perfectly tasteful now to become distasteful in the later future. To be honest, the chances of that are slim. It’s much more likely for you to write something distasteful as a foible, and see no end to it.

It’s a complicated problem. More eyes and less information means less forgiveness. If you’re a particularly popular person, then you’ll likely get disparaged even if you apologize. Hell, even if you’re not a popular person, it may still happen to you

That being said, you know what they say about twice as bright fires: they burn twice as short. It seems like once these witch hunts take hold, they don’t take hold for long, and the anteceding events fill more with sympathy of the victims rather than further social ostracizing.

Now, I’m not saying this to excuse the internet witch hunt — shame economy is real, and there really ought to be some enforcement against it. But I believe that, if you make fall into the trap of making mistakes post internet, you won’t be killed — and perhaps it’ll make you stronger. 

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