The Power of Social Networking

by , under personal, The Wired Mom

'You underestimate the Power of Social Networking.'

Wow, last week was a slow blogging week. Not intentional, I assure you. As I blogged, the little guy had a rough week, which meant that I had less computer time and mostly wanted to go straight to bed as soon as they were in bed.

He seems to be doing better- either that or I finally figured out how to help expedite the end of his tantrums. I’m not sure. But somehow we’ve settled into a groove.

But that has nothing to do with social networking. This does. Yesterday morning, a food stylist was on a flight and was pulled from it for questioning before take off. Why? A passenger had noted his “Atom Bomb” tattoo across his fingers and felt he was a flight risk. He explained that Atom Bomb was a nickname, and was allowed back on the flight. But he tweeted about it. His followers shared it, and it spread like wildfire. I’ve yet to see any sort of statement from Delta.

When I shared this link, a family friend shared that she sat next to someone who had recently been reading a book on Islam, but left it at home because he knew someone who’d been pulled off a flight for doing so. I understand that people are still afraid of terrorism, but we’ve become so terrified of something that isn’t so much a risk anymore that now we’re profiling individuals based on their appearance.

Honestly, I probably would have let this slide if it had been the flight crew who were concerned. Or if there had been some sort of comment that was paired with his tattoo that made the passenger think he might be a risk. But it wasn’t. It was one person who looked at him with his tattoos and judged him based on it.

Another friend of mine brought up that like Kevin Smith and SouthWest Airlines, that this was aided by his status as a well known food stylist who was followed on Twitter by celebrity chefs. I’m sure it caused it to spread more quickly, but it’s not like individuals haven’t had their stories heard because they weren’t celebrities. All it took was a catchy video, and the musician whose guitar was destroyed by United Airlines was making the morning news circuit. And Monica Gaudio wasn’t anyone- but it only took a few days for her story about Cooks Source stealing her material to spread across the internet and ruin the magazine.

I’m sure that being a celebrity helps- but honestly, so long as your story is relatable it doesn’t take much for it to go viral. After all, you just have to click Retweet or Share and suddenly, you’re sharing it with all of your friends/followers who can pass it on just as easily. See? That’s the power of social networking. (Admittedly, not all of us regularly crash websites like Neil Gaiman, but you know- we all have reach)