It’s not even hypocrisy but simply infantile habits of thought that lead people to maintain that Kevin Williamson should have been fired for his tweets while Randa Jarrar shouldn’t be for hers. And vice versa, of course. Either obnoxious, dumb posturing on social media (which absolutely everyone has engaged in) should be cause for immediate firing if enough people claim to be wounded by a tweet or not.
Yes, this is a country of at-will firing but these are two cases where the employer clearly doesn’t want to fire and is being hounded to do so by the Twitter-wounded.
Twitter is the preferred hangout for adrenaline-addicted folks with immature habits of thought. Obviously, expecting any logic from them beyond “Mommy, it hurts, let the bad booboo go away” is useless. But just like an angry toddler can drown out everybody in the room with a series of frustrated bellows, we are letting the most immature among us to drown out everybody else.
I’m hoping for a world where the phrase “Can you believe what Prof. Jarrar said on Twitter?” would be impossible not because Jarrar or me or you wouldn’t vent on social media – that’s the whole point of social media, after all – but because it’s ridiculous to pay attention to such ventings.
Since that is clearly not going to happen, it would be good if people at least tried to define the parameters of their approach. If everybody should be subjected to Twitter-purity checks, how often should they be conducted? Should they be extended to Facebook-purity? How about Instagram? How far back should they reach? How far should one go to break the resistance of the employer who is unwilling to castigate an employee for lack of Twitter-purity? This is a useful exercise that would train the brains of the Twitter-whisperers a lot more than months of outraged Tweeting.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I want to mention that I also have made anti-Barbara Bush comments on social media. And I’m not sorry because, what can I say, I never liked the broad. I have vented on other subjects, too. So yeah, of course, I’m afraid that excitable Twitteroids will come for me, too, one day.