Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Opinion: Lindsey Stone's Arlington 'Bird' Photo: Should Keep Job But Publicly Apologize

Lindsey Stone is in the social media coliseum fighting an impossible battle against lions after taking a foolish photo of herself flipping off a sign at the Arlington National Cemetery. And there is only one way to escape this coliseum. She must publicly apologize and then change her name.

Lindsey Stone sparked thousands of comments and controversy after she posted a photo of her giving the middle finger to a sign that asks for "silence and respect" at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. After the news media picked up the story, Stone has been placed on unpaid leave and she and another friend face losing their jobs.

Stone posted to Facebook in her defense: " Whoa whoa whoa... wait. This is just us, being the d--chebags that we are, challenging authority in general. Much like the pic posted the night before, of me smoking right next to a no smoking sign. Obviously we meant No disrespect to people that serve or have served our country."

Stone works for LIFE: a non-profit organization that helps adults with disabilities in the Cape Cod area. There is a Facebook group asking LIFE to fire Stone with more than 14,000 likes.

Does Stone deserved to be fired? No. Despite the fact that she was foolish enough to post the photo does not mean we have free reign to destroy her life. She was not working at the time of the incident nor did she do anything illegal. Her photo can be interpreted many ways but the truth of the intent of the photo is only known to Stone and her friends who were there.

This is just like what Facebook's CEO said was going to happen. Young people using social media are going to have to file to change their name due to their irresponsible photos, videos, blogs, and comments. Social media has a devastating price that is going to have a very big impact on our culture in the future.

Years from now your kids, bosses, fellow employees, friends, and family are going to use a search engine to look up your name. What are they going to find? In Lindsey Stone's case, she is going to have to defend her actions for the rest of her life.

Everyone needs to realize, if you use social media, you could be the next Lindsey Stone.

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