The social networking itch

This article about jurors tweeting and friending and blabbing online about their trials made me wonder why human beings act against common sense.

Jurors –  a perfect example

It is a cardinal rule in serving on a jury that jurors aren’t suppose to discuss the case outside of the deliberation of the jury room.   While its hardly surprising that jurors talked to their loved ones in violation of this rule, the damage is limited and the chance of getting caught, slight.  Now with the rise of social networking where communicating with family and friends on Facebook takes on the quality of chatting over the backyard fence, this same impulse occurs online.  The difference being that many more people have the ability to see the juror’s slip of tongue and that its easier to get caught because now there is a paper trail.

The intoxication of communication

I think we are discovering that the desire to connect with another person about a dramatic or intense event is simply too great to resist when its so easy to type a few words into a box and hit “send.”  Typically we are alone at our computer when we are connecting so we aren’t picking up social cues – witnessing or imagining the horror in someone’s face when damaging, dangerous or forbidden information is conveyed.

Shame-based software

Maybe like the password strength bar, we need a shame bar as we type, telling us the percentage likelihood that what we are typing will come back to bite us.


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