How Can A Tweet Ruin Your Life?

Social media has become very popular over the last few years and only seems to be gaining popularity as time progresses. Younger generations do not remember a time without social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter. Many teenagers are open to posting anything about their lives for the public to see. One twitter user found out last year that what you say on social media matters- and that it could ultimately ruin your life.

Daily Mail has a follow-up story about Justine Sacco, who became publicly known last year from a tweet that she now regrets. 30-year-old Justine, who was a PR consultant, was boarding a plane to South Africa when she tweeted out to her 170 followers “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”. Justine then turned her phone off and boarded the plane. Little did she know about the storm that was going on based on her tweet. People were outraged and called her racist, demanded for Justine to be fired from her job. Which she was.

People at Rocketfuel (Wikipedia) have heard that a year later, Justine regrets the tweet that she called “a joke”. She lost her job, has difficulty dating, and is hesitant to use social media. Justine’s story should be a warning to users who treat social media like a diary. You never know who is reading and who might take offense. And who might change your life because of it.