For the first time in six years, that I know, I have been publicly affronted on twitter.
Who did this thing and what did I do to deserve such overt vituperation?
Well – it was the MP Douglas Carswell to be precise.
He posted this tweet on Saturday 5th January 2012:
Without giving a Tweet by Tweet analysis (which I leave to you, dear reader) I merely reproduce the exchange that followed, below:
As you can see Mr Carswell appears, here, somewhat tetchy in the exchange.
I was most surprised and not a little unamused to receive a response more resonant of that someone might utter under the age of seven rather than a more considered reply; in effect, a schoolboy taunt.
Now normally I would just pass this off with a shrug but I thought it might be of interest to other users to highlight this kind of behaviour that goes on on Twitter especially from an elected representative.
Now I have made countless mistakes on Twitter over the years and many Social Media Faux Pas but I have always stuck with the axiom – “Say nothing to anyone on Social Media you wouldn’t say to someone face to face.”
Don’t get me wrong I expect robust and incisive responses to my views. However, lowering the argument to that of an infantile playground retort, especially when it comes from an elected MP in the public eye, does nothing for their reputation other than to reinforce the stereotype of how easy politicians can be dismissive of and blind to others’ views. It also exhibits a distinct lack of civil behaviour, and a refusal to engage in reasoned debate.
There are social protocols that are beginning to emerge on Twitter and I would suggest that public servants adhere to these rather that indulge in knee-jerk dismissals that may be more at home in the House of Commons.
In other words – leave that behaviour where you came from, we don’t want it here thank you very much.