When running for London West’s MPP this past summer, candidate Andrew Lawton was the subject of heavy public scrutiny in regards to his old tweets.
Lawton is a broadcaster and he says that by the time he came in the public eye, his social media footprint had already grown too large. With tweets containing subject matter like racism, Lawton says that the backlash that he got was unwarranted. He says that even though these old posts were ones that he would never stand by now, users didn’t give him a second chance and neither did his employer.
However, he says that because we live in an era where children have social media accounts from conception to adulthood, the way in which we interact needs to change. He says that at the very least, people need to give others the chance to grow and change.
“You can tell teens and youths and kids about the risks and responsibilities that come with social media but people are still going to screw up. I think that we need to–as a society–have this realization that sometimes young people are going to do immature things and it shouldn’t haunt them for the rest of their lives.”
Overall, social media has the potential to connect users with their friends but also their newest enemy. While parents may try to control their kids social media usage, many argue that teens will end up making mistakes online anyway, and that we should allow for them to grow from their experiences. However, your social media posts can also affect if you get a job.
A good rule of thumb to remember is that everything you post on social media has the possibility to be seen by thousands, so maybe think twice before posting that risky tweet.