First of all, apologies for not posting for so long; I've just been so busy with other projects, but I'm going to try and post more often from here on out!
My first thoughts upon hearing the news of Paris Brown’s foul-mouthed tweets were actually that of sympathy.
I can’t help but feel that everything has been blown well and truly out of proportion. The teenager’s tweets were from quite some years ago, and chances are she was a young, impressionable child, showing off to her friends online, as so many kids do nowadays.
If you haven't heard about this story, you can have a look here
In a way I sort of feel her pain. The Internet has changed in recent years; it’s no longer exclusively for chatting to friends, shopping or playing games. It’s a much more powerful tool, especially when it comes to employment and upholding your reputation.
Over the past year or so I’ve really used the Internet to my advantage: I’ve gained loads of experience writing for online newspapers and blogs, and I’ve started to build my reputation as a journalist. And one of the things I’ve done to create a more professional online presence is vetting my Twitter. I removed tweets that could be deemed as offensive or taken the wrong way, and I changed my handle from the rather girlish and ditsy @graciebabesxo to a simpler @gracehutch28. I’m not sure if I can say yet whether doing any of the above will have helped, but at least I have my own piece of mind that something I posted on Twitter years ago won’t come back to bite me on the ass.
Whilst I understand that there are endless cases of racist/threatening/abusive tweets and messages posted online by the likes of celebrities/politicians/footballers and the like, but they have one thing on their side which makes these tweets less excusable: age.
With age comes experience, and with experience comes common sense; both of which Paris was obviously lacking when she posted about hash brownies and drinking binges. But we all make mistakes, and most of them are made when we’re young and naïve. And unlike Miss Brown, most of us get to make them out of the spotlight and away from media scrutiny.
So before you judge the 17 year old crime tsar – as the Daily Mail today dubbed her – just think back to when you were in your teens, making whatever mistakes you did and only having your parents to answer to, not the entire British population.