By Moshe B.
I would like to address an issue that has been happening lately, in which videos on TikTok, Instagram as well as other social media are uploaded by many young people without a single thought as to what the consequences may be.
Unlike the algorithm of past years, social media platforms do not serve your content to your contacts and followers only. Downloading and screenshotting content is easier than ever. Even if you regretted posting, the content remains available by others.
Occasionally, these videos even go viral, going way further than one’s own contacts and community, sometimes viewed by thousands – or even millions around the world.
Sadly, these clips – as short and as quick as they may be to record – may end up causing untold damage and can destroy lives.
What I think should be stressed is the danger and stupidity of the “speak your mind” movement that has people blabbering and gushing about the most personal aspects of their lives on platforms with zero regard for privacy.
Sadly, this hasn’t skipped over the frum community. Instagram and now more recently TikTok has an endless stream of frum adults discussing personal issues and dark thoughts under the guise of vulnerability and transparency.
The issue grows even greater on TikTok where a younger crowd vies for attention with short clips.
Parents and educators, please advise the children in your care that social media is not a “safe space” and not all the thoughts that pop into their heads are worth sharing.
It seems like there is no better time to open Pirkei Avos again and hear what our chachamim already knew back then:
“Avtalyon would say: Scholars, be careful with your words. For you may be exiled to a place inhabited by evil elements [who will distort your words to suit their negative purposes].”