The Problem with Teenagers

March 27, 2015

The problem with teenagers these days is they speak without thinking. They do not wonder about the consequences of their actions before doing something and they shrink responsibility when their actions turn around to haunt them.

How many of you actually think twice before tweeting something critical? You think, "This is just another of the millions of tweets sent out daily, who's gonna pick up on it?" You think nobody will see your tweet but that's when you're wrong. People are going to see it, they are going to criticize your post, they are going to dig up your history, even if you think nobody cares about your post.

When criticized, what is their response? Freedom of speech. Yes, we practice the freedom of speech in Singapore but that doesn't mean we condone the practice of being an asshole. Freedom of speech is meant for citizens to speak of their opinions responsibly, not for you to condemn without reason. You don't call it a freedom of speech when you publicly embarrass someone online - that's cyber-bullying. You don't deactivate your account after people picked up on your post. You don't escape after being forced to face with the consequences of your post. Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

Choices have consequences - speak only if you are willing to face the consequences of your words. Don't say it's meant for a small audience and it was never meant to be public. If you had wanted it to be private, you would have said it in a WhatsApp chat instead of posting things with a public account. How many times have I seen someone deleted their post because they can't stand by their words and be proud of them?

Yes, you can delete your post but just because you have deleted them doesn't mean nobody has seen them. Even when you delete your posts, there will be screenshots people made of your post. Why delete when you have the choice to not post it in the first place? This is the Internet; what you say here stays here.

Here's another thing about people: we don't care if you've done a million good deeds - one bad deed from you is enough to erase the history of all the good deeds you have done. It's not just a behaviour of people on the Internet, but people everywhere.

To put things into prospective, imagine this scenario: you've worked for a company for 25 years. Every day, you're the first to reach the office and the last to leave. You've never once complained, never asked for extra pay for the OT that you do. But one day, due to the fatigue from overworking, you make a grave mistake and caused your company to lose millions. Will your employer keep you?

No, s/he will fire you. Despite all the contributions you've made in the past few decades, one mistake is all it takes for you to leave the company. Your boss will remember you for the one mistake that you've made. You think this is unfair, but it's just the way things are. Why?

It is scientifically proven, it is the way our brains are wired to work - it is of human nature to remember the bad over the good.

But this isn't all bad news!

With this piece of information in mind, you are encouraged to think before you speak. Do you really want a single tweet phased the wrong way to overshadow all the achievements you've made in your life? Is this really what you want to be remembered for?

Next time before you speak, remember that your words may dictate your future, and your choices have consequences. Think twice before you voice a senseless opinion not backed up by facts.

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