I had an experience last week that i found fascinating that involved the social medium of facebook and peoples use of this platform to both vilify and defend a complete stranger.
To set the scene a business that provides services to the general public including the sale of food and beverages in an environment where lots of young children go to play and are supervised by their parents.
It was a busy school holiday week so the establishment was super busy. One child who used the facility was ill and subsequently threw up everywhere. The child was removed from the premises and the mess cleaned up. Business continued as usual.
Fast forward a couple of days and around a dozen people reported that their children had become ill since visiting the venue a couple of days earlier.
So this is where the hysteria starts. Facebook is the tool of choice it seems for people to publicly judge that of course the venue must be at fault. The food was of course poisoned and the place should be shut down immediately all who work there should be hung, drawn and quartered! People would jump on the band wagon. They were not even there and were not affected by any illness but of course they wade in with their expert opinions on why this successful 12 year old business which has an excellent 5 star record should now be torched with a flame thrower.
Just as I started to despair at the craziness of it all along came some knights in shining armor. Members of the public who had not been infected with the craziness bug and actually showed some common sense and restraint. Hey this is someones business and livelihood they would say. Lets not judge until the facts have been established.
Well the facts were established by the experts and it was proven that the cause was a simple virus that had been brought into the centre by an ill child. No blame could be proportioned to the said business that people were ready to burn down.
We can all be quick to make judgements. The internet seems to offer an invisible barrier that removes common sense and decency in some people. Thankfully not in others.
I guess the moral of the story is that there is always two sides to a story. Get your facts and do your research before casting a judgement. I think this is something we can all benefit from doing a bit more of.