An Open Letter To Roseanne (And Anyone Else On Twitter)
Dear Roseanne (and anyone else who uses Twitter):
I love Twitter. The information is immediate, reaction can be insightful and sometimes downright hilarious. Twitter is very tempting. For celebrities - and everyday people- it's an outlet, an expression, a chance to be heard. But it can can also be very dangerous and many careers have vanished because of it. Why did you press send on that ignorant, racist, unfunny tweet?
You had it all going for you. You've won Emmy's, Golden Globes, People's Choice Awards, and your re-boot of Roseanne was a #1 hit. We forgave you when you butchered the National Anthem back in 1990, you survived an ugly public divorce to Tom Arnold and it while it took a little while, you persevered and you were back in a big way- on top of the world. Your current Roseanne show was a refreshing change from the current sit-com landscape. It was different. It wasn't PC, it had the feel of a show that supports our President (highly unusual by most TV standards these days) and it was FUNNY.
Then you hit 'send' and just like that, it's over. Your career is back in the tank and hundreds of people who worked on your show are looking for work. They didn't make the millions you made in television. You may not need the money, but they'll struggle for some time while looking for work.
A few years ago, I tweeted something out to a someone I was trying to get a rise out of - and while it wasn't awful - it was passive aggressive and not very pleasant. Once I hit send, it felt amazing. But after a few minutes of staring at it, I decided to delete it. Too late. Someone who followed me screen-grabbed it and sent it to the person they assumed I was talking about. That person used it against me in a variety of embarrassing ways. I had no way to defend myself as I was under attack by people who came to their defense. I deserved the barrage of insults thrown back at me.
Over time I learned that Twitter won't get you more famous, it won't help pay your bills, it most certainly won't ever win you an argument, make you a better parent, friend, partner, or a political genius. Twitter is loaded with instant information, but it didn't inform you - or others - of the most important thing of all; Twitter only gets people in trouble.
I would have assumed that with everything you've been through, you would have known that. While this letter may be too late to save you, hopefully if you're reading this, you'll be careful on social media. While it's tempting to put your views, opinions, and deepest secrets and desires out there, eventually you too will get screen-grabbed. It happens to the best (and worst) of us.