Each year it seems like there’s some last minute drama that occurs during the final hours leading up to the NFL draft. This year it’s Josh Allen who is facing a public relations crisis after several racially insensitive tweets from six years ago while he was in high school surfaced on Wednesday.
Although Allen quickly apologized, the damage was already done.
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to step aside from further commentary on the obviously offensive nature of Allen’s tweets. That would require a thesis and goes beyond the focus of this discussion.
Technology advances are happening far faster than we’ve been able to evolve in terms of finding appropriate boundaries regarding what we post on social media. The gravity of something spoken out loud can fade with time, but the internet is forever and unforgiving, as Josh Allen just found out.
Having porous boundaries is one of the most dysfunctional aspects of modern society. If we live in the information age, shouldn’t we have some grasp on what type of personal information should be archived about us for all of eternity?
Being “young and dumb” as Allen claims he was when he wrote the offensive posts is a completely inadequate excuse for his behavior. Let this burn in the memory of every person reading these words – you don’t get a “do-over” on the Internet when you cross certain lines.
You can’t take words back, and why in 2018 are we still having these conversations anyway?
What’s most disturbing from this old shrink’s perspective is how this type of insensitive thinking is passed on from one generation to the next. When parents are posting every last intimate detail about their personal lives on Facebook, why should we expect their children to be any different?
Children hopefully develop into free thinking adults and the first set of data to be imported into their brains comes most often from parents. Children generally learn prejudicial views, repeat them and then reassess the reaction they receive from a larger circle of adults.
So when parents overshare every detail of their life on social media, their children assimilate similarly poor boundaries about what should or shouldn’t be shared in a public forum. The bottom line is each of us needs to take a step back and only post what you wouldn’t mind having associated with you for the rest of your life.
It’s heart-wrenching to think about what was supposed to be the best day of Josh Allen’s life is now stained by this controversy.
I hope if nothing else anyone reading these words will think long and hard about the importance of guarding what you write/say on social media. And for those who have children, please help them grow into emotionally stable adults with healthy boundaries so they understand the consequences of oversharing.
If ever there were a better example about the kind of devastating things that can happen on social media, I can’t think of one more impactful than what just happened to Josh Allen.
Now let’s move on to the draft and find out who the Bills will choose to lead the way!
Editor’s babble: As a grandparent, this ‘story’ is my worst nightmare. Social media is a direct reflection of society as a whole, and it definitely has a dangerous side. You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO. Thanks for your support.
*Views expressed are solely the authors and may not necessarily reflect the owners of the BillsMafia.com website.