“Did you see that tweet last night about (Insert Unfortunate Victim’s Name Here)!”
“Yeah! I can’t believe she did that. Who should we tell next?”
Is the two-line improvisation above dramatized? Yes. Short and to the point? Yes. So, what is the point, you curious readers ask? This writer would like to know how much privacy people are morally entitled to in a world run by Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. In the United States, people blog about one another, comment, post photos, and are not shy about using full names of individuals in articles. Unfortunately, the trend has now been witnessed in Tokyo as well.
On January 11th, a female employee at the Westin Hotel, Tokyo, witnessed Miho Tanaka (top left) and Junichi Inamoto (bottom left) coming into the hotel together and proceeding to dine at a restaurant inside the hotel. The individual proceeded to compose a rather instigating “tweet” on the social networking site, Twitter, stating that the famous model and the up and coming soccer superstar seemed to be having a good time and would most likely stay the night together at the hotel from what she could tell. Within hours, the tweet was widespread across the net, and eventually made TV news shortly afterwards. In the end, this meeting turned out to be for the model’s birthday celebration, after which no one stayed the night at the hotel.
Ending with one worker losing her job and one famous hotel chain suffering a more than a bit of embarrassment, it is important to note the cultural differences between Japan and America here. Americans who utilize social networking sites may be much more open in the sharing of personal information as well as the use of others’ full names, etc. when talking about certain subjects. Japanese individuals, on the other hand, are far more subtle in their composition style when it comes to writing pieces that can be viewed by basically anyone in the world with an Internet connection. Even the TV news in Japan reveals less juicy information about famous individuals than Westerners would be used to seeing on a daily basis. For this reason, the number of users, as well as the various ways in which they use sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. vary in a multitude of ways across our two cultures. It would probably do everyone good if we all learned a bit of humility and paid more attention to our own business than everyone else’s.
So, how many followers do you have? L, signing off…