Social media has become such an ubiquitous part of our lives that it's easy to treat it as we would a good friend: Someone to whom we can tell our darkest secrets, biggest irritations, and most tasteless jokes. Usually it's only after we've shared the latest argument with our husband, or our uncensored feelings about our overbearing boss, that our real-world filter kicks in and we think, Oops! Maybe I shouldn't have done that.
That's what happened to 18-year-old Edd Filiti, who went on a Facebook tear, accusing Sylvester Stallone of ignoring his son, Sage, and causing the emotional trauma that led him to turn to drugs. If Edd was an ordinary Facebook user, this might have just sparked a lively debate on his wall. But he happened to be Sylvester Stallone's nephew. So the rant when worldwide. And now Edd deeply regrets saying anything. What Facebook user can't sympathize?
Edd had some harsh words for The Italian Stallion on his wall, accusing Sly of not returning a call from Sage when he wanted to wish his father a happy birthday. He wrote:
What did he do wrong, say happy birthday? Neither you nor she [Stallone's wife Jennifer Flavin] could return a phone call, which is all he wanted, his father.
I know you don't care what happened, but you'll care when you’re squirming under the burning magnifying glass of public opinion. You people make me f****** sick.
He also accused Sly's second wife, Jennifer, of alienating Sage from the family, ranting:
Jennifer Flavin, you won. You tore this family apart and got your trophy, Congrats!
While Edd doesn't seem like he regrets his words, he does regret posting them on Facebook, where they only remained for a few minutes before he had second thoughts and deleted them. But some "friend" must have shared them with the media. Edd now says:
I made a mistake ... I was feeling raw and emotional and I never meant for my feeling to become public. I took the post down minutes later. I never meant to insult my uncle. I have my own issues with him, but that should never be said on Facebook. I want to recant my words.
It's easy to forget in a heated (or wine-filled) moment that Facebook friends are REAL people -- and you don't know how everyone will take everything. In April, a Chicago bartender was fired after a series of nasty comments about African-Americans on her wall. A medical technician was fired after making disparaging comments about her boss.
Beyond getting fired, I've seen all kinds of updates from people who have stopped talking to friends and family members over Facebook postings. Last year, I wrote about a friend who divided her family after posting a rant about Hurricane Irene.
The lesson, as always, is be careful what you say on Facebook. If you've got something you just must get off your chest in the heat of a moment of anger, frustration, or even sadness, it never hurts to wait 24 hours before posting. See if you still want to do it in the morning. Meanwhile, call up some real world pals, head to the nearest bar, and vent your head off.
Have you ever regretted anything you said on Facebook?