WINSTON-SALEM — Last week was a difficult week for Republican Senator Joyce Krawiec, who represents Forsyth and Yadkin counties. As many people did, she posted a response to some of the photos taken at the Women’s Marches which occurred worldwide the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“Message to crazies @ Women’s March — If brains were lard, you couldn’t grease a small skillet. You know who you are.” The tweet was posted on Jan. 23 and removed the next day replaced with, “I apologize. I apologize. I was only talking to those who acted inappropriately. Forgive me Please. Twitter Lesson learned.”
Many people have a difficult time with today’s technology, particularly social media forums. Although platforms such as blogging and Facebook give users the opportunity to explain themselves unlike the limited characters of Twitter, there are often still misunderstandings. Sarcasm, for example, does not translate well.
When it comes to social media, people make posts frequently based on reactions to something specific. The reader then interprets it based on their own perspective, which cannot be controlled by the writer and leads to conflict.
After Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, popular celebrity Oprah Winfrey tweeted a photo of him with then President Obama with the message, “Everybody take a deep breath! #Hope lives,” for which she was criticized by supporters who had been following her pro-Hillary Clinton rhetoric. Winfrey later explained that she was trying to be positive in the face of disappointment.
“My comments were directed at the women at the DC March who were very disrespectful to women, IMO,” wrote Krawiec in an email to The Tribune and Yadkin Ripple this week. “Displaying women as body parts is not respectful. Calling women the names of body parts, accompanied by profanity, is not respectful. Some of the speakers were offensive to all Americans, not just women. This is what I would have liked to convey.”
Even those who are in the business of catering to the public can find themselves in trouble with Twitter. In February of 2011 during the political riots in Egypt, an individual in marketing for American clothing designer Kenneth Cole posted, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”
When it comes to social media, being overly cautious with language can be as helpful as using correct spelling and punctuation. Finding out which is the best format is also important as is understanding how they are interconnected.
“Facebook is my preferred social media tool and I have had a presence there for quite some time,” wrote Krawiec. “Sometimes it’s difficult to express thoughts in the short structure of Twitter. While I have had a Twitter account for several years, I didn’t use it for direct tweets. It was connected to my Facebook account and tweeted automatically as a link to Facebook. That explains why it wasn’t being read. I updated the page last Monday and began direct tweets. Obviously, I have a lot to learn.”
There are places like public libraries and college courses that offer assistance on how to use computers including social media. According to Elkin Public Librarian Martha Smith, “We tried group sessions [for computer usage] but couldn’t get people to come. They come when they experience a problem first hand.”
The Elkin Library offers 30-minute appointments for one-on-one instruction on various activities such as the use of e-mail, internet searches, creating documents and downloading eBooks and audiobooks as well as social media.
“Social media can be an asset for communicating, I believe,” wrote Krawiec. “I will continue to use these platforms, in spite of my firestorm this week. However, in the future I will be more specific and more careful.”
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.