Big Brother is Lurking


Wake up! Get that coffee or tea and listen to this! I’ve just had my Big Brother wake up call. You will not receive tweets, emails, linkedin’s or facebook posts from me dissing rich, famous people with big, big staffs anymore. Then again…..

I’m referring to the poor high school senior from Kansas, Emma Sullivan, who was spotlighted in the news this week due to her politically conscious attempt to tweet about something grownup instead of Justin Bieber and Breaking Dawn. The child’s tweet was censored by the office of the Governor of Kansas and she was called into the principal’s office for discipline.

True, Emma Sullivan lied to the 60 followers in her Tweeter account. She didn’t really tell the governor to his face that “he sucked”, but that was something her friends didn’t ever have to find out. How empowering to have the rumor circulating around campus that you told the governor he “blows a lot”. Alas, the staff of Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas found her account in their sweep of social media sites which they troll nightly looking for the governor’s name. (Oh my God, What was that I said about Patti LaBelle last week?)

Emma was immediately called to a nervous principal’s office at Shawnee Mission East High School where she was ordered to issue the governor an apology. Emma refused and immediately went into action. (That can happen, teachers and parents, when we instruct these smart kids to stand up for themselves). She and her sister, a political science major at Wichita State, contacted local press who later contacted national press.

That’s when cooler heads prevailed. Gov. Brownback stepped in and called off his overzealous staff. I imagine he said something like this, “Are you people crazy! This kid tells 60 other kids I suck, and you morons wind up letting the entire country find out?”

Gov Brownback issued Emma Sullivan an apology and assured her that he recognized her right to freedom of speech. No dummy, this governor.

This all gets me to the crux of this matter. Who else is trolling social media sites for his or her name? How soon until all of us have been cited for negative utterances (written, if using social media) against someone we don’t like.

Be careful out there people. I have several friends who don’t trust facebook or any other social media outlet for this very reason. Too much trouble could result from it, they say. Others ask if the internet is ever taken over by the FCC how far back will they go into some of our texts, emails, and posts to ferret out conspiracy, and intrigue. Now that this child’s tweet has received this kind of attention, I’m not sure they are paranoid.

I don’t operate in a context of “what if”. I step out on faith. I jump out of windows. I say what I think. Sometimes, to the horror of my grown children (and myself). I just ask that some of you keep a few dollars of bail money in reserve for me because if the governor sucks, I’m going to tell him to his face. Or at least tell all of you that I did.

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