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Oscar vs social media mobs

23 February 2013, 13:44
The tragic events that have gripped our country and the rest of the world has caused even the most self controlled, contrite and politically correct to spectacularly explode as vitriolic experts on all things legal and moral.

Even those who would proudly state they don't involve themselves in troll-like behaviour on News forums and Social media platforms now find themselves unwittingly drawn into the public opinion polls involving Oscar Pistorius and the late Reeva Steenkamp. The keyboards are on fire!

Sadly, Facebook and Twitter have become our public diaries, for some a daily Reality TV show where we quietly pour over the intimate details of others lives, yet appear chillingly inactive, often stating "I hardly go on Facebook".Then there are the serial updaters about their breakfast and every daily emotion, the soap box poster, the never poster, the list goes on.

Many have forgotten that they were educated and raised by wise and loving parents who taught them discernment and empathy for the imperfect human beings on this planet.  They are blinded by the fact that to judge without the facts puts them right in the box of idiots.

They seem oblivious to the fact that to engage in unfounded, and very public accusations is much like mob justice and that the abuse of Social media at their finger tips does not differentiate them from the animal-like behaviour of lynch mobs. Using keyboards as weapons to slice with the precision and skill of seasoned hunters.

Celebs are suddenly journalists,  Joe Blow a forensic expert and Aunty Sannie has become a high flying legal expert overnight, albeit with broken English and a kitchen as an office.

Scores of people are blindly guzzling up some very ill researched journalistic fiction and joining the ranks of self appointed judges and executioners.

Likewise others are rising aggressively to defend their heroes with very few facts at hand which will no doubt bring forth disappointment as we ourselves are as imperfect as the next hero. Their rants of innocence do not bode well with logical minds that acknowledges a legal system that will have to run its course. Having faith in the man is a far cry from proclaiming what one does not yet know to be fact.

Being affected emotionally is what makes us human. This is incredibly tragic. However treating this as Boston Legal disregards the respect we so flippantly have tossed aside for the real tragedy at hand. Real people's lives have been shattered.  In the haze of our misdirected expert opinion, we should turn to that which matters most. Our friends and loved ones and discuss our respectful views privately.

Our adult conduct sets an example to our children whom we should be teaching that our lives are not played out on Social media. We should shudder at the thought that our children could Google our primal public rants. And if they should, that they would rather find an adult that they aspire to be one day: Slow to speak, anger and judge and quick to discern and forgive.

Lets not forget the lessons we teach our children. "Wait your turn","Don't snatch","Don't gossip" and never EVER bully. Yet we bully so publicly and pulverize those that dare make a spelling mistake while stating their point. We bark and humiliate those who air a calm civilized opinion. The keyboard blizzards of middle class South Africa truly do believe they know it all!

Putting the brakes on those very public statements is wisdom. Praying for the fallen ( there are two of them) and pray even harder we never fall that hard. Just mind we fall much further the higher we elevate ourselves.

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