Are we all exceptions to the rules?

Ahh, back to the unfortunately familiar theme. An entitled internet user decides that she is immune to all consequences and tweets something that clearly should not have been put on the internet. 16-year-olds aren’t known for their judgment, but this one goes above and beyond.

Shortly after President Obama made his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, Alyssa Douglas tweeted: “Someone needs to assassinate Obama…like ASAP #DieYouPieceOfShit.”

Not surprisingly, the Secret Service ended up investigating the situation to make sure it didn’t pose a legitimate threat, and agents questioned Douglas personally as well. Clinton Masse High School in Ohio, the school the girl attended, had to make a statement reinforcing that Douglas’ tweet in no way reflected their beliefs.

So now this girl that was previously probably nothing more than a spoiled teen like so many junior cheerleaders with twitter accounts are has now been thrust into the national spotlight, made into an icon of stupidity, and is now being alienated from communities she was previously a part of because, let’s face it, who wants to say, “Yeah, that girl who tweeted about killing the President is a good friend”?

Some people may see this as overkill for what could be chalked up to nothing more than typical teenage stupidity, just like that phase all of us encountered at some point in our lives between the ages of 14 and 18. Imagine if all of us had to be reminded of our teenage mistakes by national media. It would be pretty awful.

Here’s the problem with that: this is clearly a case of a girl who was never held accountable for anything in her life and who never was forced to consider the consequences of her own actions. It’s worrisome that this may become the norm, especially in the age of the Internet where people become ruder by the day because of the anonymity they are granted on Twitter, YouTube, and any other online community. Day after day, people post tirades about anything and everything simply because they can and feel it is somehow going to display to everyone how incredibly intelligent and correct they are.

Well, as hard as this may be to believe, the above scenario will never happen. It’s more likely that the Secret Service will investigate your entire life than it is that you’ll convert someone to see things your way with a tweet like the one Douglas posted.

It’s saddening to see that this editorial has to be written so many times over so many specifics. Whether the internet is making us ruder or we have no concept of how to appropriately voice our discontent, it all comes back to one underlying concept: society is somehow becoming filled with people who feel they are the lone exception to all the rules.

Don’t become part of this downward spiral, or you may end up being investigated by the Secret Service.

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