The Twitter Fight

The Little Hawk staff takes a minute to talk about Thursday’s heated “Twitter War”

The Little Hawk Staff

It’s been the most talked-about gossip at school for the past few days: “Have you seen so and so’s Tweet?” The incendiary posts coming from both City High and West High students on Twitter are getting completely out of hand. Tweets and posts that make fun of people’s appearance, sexual preference, and race have all been posted the last few days on Twitter, mainly because of the tension from the City vs. West playoff basketball game on Tuesday and the overall rivalry between the two schools.

Cyberbullying has become a huge problem in general, and Twitter fights like this most recent one are a prime example. Calling people derogatory names, making negative comments about sexuality, and posting pictures of people to purposely harass people are all examples of the events going on in Iowa City’s corner of the social media world in recent days. From the safety of a smartphone, it can be easy to forget that harsh comments are reaching and hurting real people—but they are.

Teenagers also need to realize that what they post on social media is not private and will never go away. Even if your account is on private or not very many people follow you, there are screenshots and comments and posts that can go around. It does not matter if your posts were on your “side account” or you didn’t want people to see it. When you post something on social media, people will see it, even if it was not intended for public viewing. There is no such thing as “privacy” on social media.

Of course, it’s not unnatural to get into Twitter fights; humans have been known to be aggressive sometimes and can be very defensive when attacked seemingly unprovoked. Everyone has probably been in a situation like this. Celebrities like Donald Trump, Kanye West, and even Pope Francis have all participated in fighting Twitter style.

If there’s one way to prevent these online temper tantrums from getting too serious, it’s to not take them too seriously in the first place. Twitter is a social media platform housing approximately 974 million accounts. To put that in perspective, on March 3rd, about 15 high school students got antsy hiding behind a screen. We are in the heat of our adolescence, and easily ticked-off. People are going to have opinions that differ from yours, and those ridiculous and off-putting opinions are just a preview for what you are bound to be presented with in the real world. And some people might just be dumb, and you’re going to have to deal with that, because they are most likely not going to change

It can be difficult to hold back when one of your friends is being attacked online over a petty rivalry, but the more you retaliate, the worse the situation becomes. We’re teenagers, and a lot of us just want attention, and the second you cut off that flow of stimulation, the opposing argument becomes bored and disinterested. This ultimately shows people like Mr. Bacon, Mr. Shoultz, and your mom (if she’s active on Twitter) that you are the bigger person.