Twitter shaming – is it right to share your chat online?
27 October 2015
By Will Roberts
So, I've worked in social media for the past year and there's one thing I've noticed on Twitter which I think is maybe not cool - sharing your gay site/app conversations with your followers.
Now, I get it. There's a lot of conversations that happen on Recon and our fellow sites/apps that are funny/ridiculous/offensive/bizarre [delete appropriate], and may seem worth sharing. My question is this: should you?
The thing with all dating/hookup sites/apps is that, because we all have our own unique tastes, we're going to get contacted by guys we're not attracted to, or guys into stuff that's not for us. Fair enough. No big deal. Thank you for your interest in the position but we've decided to go with another candidate. You don't even have to respond if you don't want. But to play with someone. To lead them on. To ridicule them. Then to post the conversation on social media? I dunno…seems kind of mean spirited.
You could argue that the person has brought this upon themselves, saying these things to a stranger in a format that can be copied with a simple Home + Lock, but does that really justify broadcast? I won't speak for us all, but I know I've said things to guys I've not met, and maybe never will, that I'd be fairly mortified if they shared. I've let my guard down, got carried away, said things I didn't mean but was horny and in the moment so fuck it. I imagine lots of us have. And the thought of such chats being used as a 'Likes' generator leaves me a bit cold. There's no contract between you and anyone else saying that your conversations will remain private, but maybe just go with the simple notion of 'would you like it if someone did it to you?'
I'm not going to lie, though, when it comes to the bizarre ones I do understand the impulse. We've all been messaged by guys who hit us with some varying shades of crazy, and these messages can often be hilarious/disturbing. Perfect fodder for telling your friends about. But I think there's a difference between telling your mates about something ridiculous you've been sent, and with posting the messages online for any number of people to see. Let's not forget that these posts often include the username and pictures of the guys involved. In theory you're exposing them globally and hanging them out to dry. It just feels like bullying to me.
Now, I'm not meaning to be all holier than thou, and in some instances when a guy has been offensive, abusive or just plain rude then I can maybe get behind a public airing. Those guys have brought it upon themselves. If you're going to act like a dick, then you get what's coming to you. But all the others – the lonely, the sad, the insecure, the confused, the inappropriate, the shy, the weird, the clueless, the tasteless, the chancers – maybe cut them some slack. Maybe just laugh it off and generate 'likes' from something clever/funny/impressive you've said or done, instead of from someone else's social miscalculations.
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