Silly tweets don’t die … they get retweeted around the globe

You know when you say something silly to your husband / friend / colleague and you’re glad they’re the only one there to hear you?

You can laugh about it. You can be corrected. You can be embarrassed and swear them to secrecy.

But occasionally today, what we say and do traverses to social media and it can have astounding repercussions.

This post has of course been prompted by the recent tweet of American Kristin Neel. See a screen grab below:

Kristin Neel tweet
Kristin Neel tweet

A lot of Australians found this tweet hilarious and happily corrected Ms Neel. And while she certainly wasn’t the only American who tweeted about fleeing to the land down under (as Buzzfeed collated), she did get her facts remarkably wrong.  Sadly, the following day Kristin Neel had deleted her Twitter account.

This story had me pondering a few things:

  • Millions of people share a lot of silly things on Twitter all the time. How did Kristin’s tweet get pushed to the fore?
  • What compelled Kristin to share these views of the Australian PM which were so clearly wrong? She can use Twitter, but she can’t use Wikipedia?
  • Will she leverage this experience by returning and trying to capitalise on this 140 characters of fame?

But it also reminded me of other people whose lives were affected by what occurred on Twitter.

Remember @theashes? Ashley Kerekes, a young American woman (and knitting enthusiast) became drawn into the cricketing world when Twitter users mistakenly began using her handle in their cricket commentary. Her account was inundated, leading her to tweet: “I’m not a freaking cricket match!” (In fact, her Twitter bio still contains that phrase).

This turned into a campaign called #gettheashestotheashes – and Ashley did indeed come to Australia to see a Test match in Sydney.

The Twitter ‘humiliation’ story that most gives me the creeps revolved around a model tweeting about a married actor allegedly hitting on her during a plane trip. She even took photographs. The actor apparently wasn’t aware he was being portrayed live on Twitter as a sleaze, and later went online to say the entire episode had been made up.

In this piece on that Stetten/Presley incident, the author says “Twitter … is like The Hunger Games for narcissists, where egos must compete in real-time mortal combat, skilfully walking the tightrope between being interesting and provocative”.

I’m glad that hasn’t been my experience …

Have you ever come under fire on Twitter and wished you could hide under the quilt?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Gary Lum says:

    My runaway moments are mainly because I don’t check the autocorrect offering before hitting send 🙂

    1. Prakky says:

      If that’s as embarrassing as it gets, you’re lucky, Gary! 🙂

  2. Ric says:

    No – I’ve been lucky so far. Of course, it probably helps if you’re not quite so obvious in your lack of knowledge – as you say, Michelle, Wikipedia isn’t too far away.
    I’m with Gary – my worst moments are usually fat fingers on the keyboard or un-noticed autocorrects (usually on Twitter)

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