Social networking can take costly and dangerous twist

Danielle Rudy Davis
Danielle Rudy Davis
Eric Cassius
Eric Cassius

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Social networking sites have us more connected than ever before, but the sites are also connecting some to scandal. Experts estimate every 20 minutes there are more than a 1.5 million posts on social media sites. More than 2.5 million pictures are posted.

Smartphones make it easy to share every second, but this quick communication can take a costly turn even though the sites are supposed to pull family and friends together.

"You only have 140 characters to work with, and its point is to say what you are doing," explained Danielle Rudy Davis with Louisville public relations firm, Peritus.

Despite Twitter's character constraint, it doesn't take too many clicks to find users posting too much.

"So you can put that out there and you may go back to delete that a minute later, but someone has already seen it. Someone will take a screen shot of that and that part is stuck," Rudy Davis said.

It's what got New York Representative Anthony Weiner stuck in the middle of a summer scandal that cost him his career. Weiner accidentally posted a sexually explicit picture of himself on Twitter. He later admitted he sent inappropriate photos to several women.

With a half million new accounts every day, Twitter makes it easier than ever to cheat with a tweet.

"I think the Internet is making it much more feasible for somebody to go out and be unfaithful to somebody else or find a relationship with somebody else without having to go through the hoops you used to have to jump through," said Eric Cassius, a relationship counselor.

As we discovered the dark side of the social network, we found thousands letting their dirtiest desires be known using a simple symbol - the hashtag (#).

"Hashtags are basically the pound sign, and then you can put a word after it," Rudy Davis said. "NASCAR is an example."

Another example is "twitter after dark." The phrase with a hashtag puts all dirty tweets after dark together.

"If it keeps going the way that it is, it seems like the long term relationships are going to be a thing of the past. It's going to be quick little, short little things that you have with people if we adapt to that type of situation," Cassius said.

This is a whole new domain. In fact, Twitter has only been around for five years. With the constant flow of communication and information, the panel of experts we talked with says it's important to remember social networking can become addictive.

When personal problems start popping up because of it, that's when it might be time to seek help from a counselor.

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