Tuesday, February 10, 2015

You Can't Bullshit Twitter

When you say something on Twitter, at least one person will get the message. And, as in the real world, people won't always, blindly, take your word at face value. If something doesn't seem right, you will get called on it.

The worst thing you can do is try to cover your tracks with bullshit.

Take, for example, an incident that happened last week. It was a simple tweet, a notification about the weather and the poor driving conditions. We see them all the time, at this year, in Ottawa. Winter makes driving an action that requires your full attention as you drive in potentially hazardous conditions. On slippery days, you want both hands on the steering wheel, you want to reduce your speed, and you want to watch for other traffic.

You don't want to be snapping photos on your smartphone, and you certainly don't want to be tweeting.

And yet, an Ottawa councillor purported to do just that. I'm not naming names, but I'll reveal the tweets, word-for-word.

I don't want to be accused of my own bullshit.

Naturally, adding a photo will draw many eyes. Mine weren't the only ones.

Now, it would have been a good time to come clean, to admit that, yes, it's not a good idea to shoot a photo while you drive. It's dangerous. And, in Ontario, it's illegal.

A councillor would know that.

But instead of admitting to the blunder, or even staying quiet, this councillor turned to bullshit.

I saw this tweet, and I held my breath. I counted to 10. I looked at the photo again. I'm a photographer and I've taken thousands of photos with my cell phone. I've also been behind the wheel of my car with my smartphone, but never while the car was moving, not even while I've been stopped at a red light. But my experience tells me that this photo was definitely taken from behind the wheel, perhaps with the left hand.

So this councillor was telling people that she was driving, dropping her husband at work, and he, sitting in the passenger seat, took the photo.

I couldn't stay silent. I smelled bullshit.


My tweet was favourited by many, including (and here, I'll name a name) Ottawa's chief of police.

Again, you would think that this councillor would fess up. But no.

Why would her husband reach way over? What was wrong with the view he had directly in front of him? The wind screen seemed to be clear right across. I wasn't buying it.

Others joined in, called this councillor a liar. She was in a corner. With no where else to go (other than the truth), she went here:

Oh yeah, there's lunacy. There's also a pile of stinking bullshit.

And she threw her husband under the bus. Because someone snapped a photo on a smartphone and shared it on Twitter.

There are two lessons to learn here: don't snap photos while driving. Don't bullshit on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. There's just no good way out of this. In the very unlikely event that her husband really did reach waaaaaay across the car (quite the reach on him!) to take the picture bullshit how safe is it to reach in front of the driver of a moving vehicle? The best case is if he was sitting in the backseat and reached around from there, but that's still not a safe thing to do.