Keller @ Large: Social Media Keeps Getting People Fired

BOSTON (CBS) — I have to laugh every time I see some tech apologist rattling on about how wonderful social media is because it’s, you know, empowering, and brings people together.

Maybe for some.

But the deeper we go into the smartphone era, the more I see the power of social media outstripping the ability of its users to control it. And instead of bringing people together, it seems to be separating people – in many cases, from their jobs.

Consider just the past two weeks, when no less than five journalists have either been fired or forced to apologize for inappropriate tweets.

From the right, a Breitbart writer got the chop for anti-Muslim slurs in the wake of the London Bridge attack; from the left, a CNN host is on the banana peel for vulgar tweets about President Trump.

Keep in mind, these are people in a profession where you’re supposed to understand the power of words and have some sense of self-editing.

And while it may seem pretty dumb to damage yourself with poorly-chosen words, it’s a syndrome that afflicts allegedly-intelligent people too, like the accepted Harvard applicants who’ve been bounced after they posted vile comments to a Facebook site.

This phenomenon is just one way in which social media is turning out to be social poison.

Consider bullying, sexting, and all the other ways the smartphone is used as a weapon. The technology is so immediate and so easy to use, and the urge to share is so powerful, it seems people just can’t help themselves.

Let’s call it the curse of Steve Jobs, a horrible person who oversaw the creation of technology that’s turning out to be just as horrible as him.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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