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Published December 09, 2011, 07:12 PM

Social media missuse can lead to serious repercussions

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Twitter and Facebook are changing the way Americans communicate. From advertising to emotional outbursts, the two social media companies are platforms for companies, celebrities and everyone in between. But sometimes, things are left better unsaid, or maybe, untweeted.

Twitter and Facebook are changing the way Americans communicate. From advertising to emotional outbursts, the two social media companies are platforms for companies, celebrities and everyone in between. But sometimes, things are left better unsaid, or maybe, untweeted.

140 characters. That's all you get in a tweet. But those few words can change your life forever. Alyssa Dahl is a social media expert with Sundog here in Fargo

Alyssa Dahl – Social Analyst, Sundog: ”People do misuse social media, I think it's a lot of times because of the lack of education they have with it.”

Take this weekend's Bison football game. A racially charged retweet by Lehigh All-American receiver Ryan Spadola has left him suspended for Saturday's game.

Alec Baldwin's twitter account is now deactivated after he ranted about his service on American Airlines, tweeting things like "Where retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950's find jobs as flight attendants," and "Now on the 3 o'clock American flight. The flight attendants already look.....smarter."

In Arkansas, the murder conviction of Erickson Dimas-Martinez was overturned after it was discovered a juror sent messages via twitter from the jury box.

Alyssa Dahl: “A lot of people don't understand the potential influence it can have on such a large community.”

Social media is one of the, if not the biggest platform for communication amongst our younger generation. Many of them say it needs to be used more wisely.

Adam Lambert – Senior, NDSU: “There's definitely some people that don't think about their actions when they stuff.”

Emily Heupel – NDSU Student: “I guess I'm just really self-conscious and I don't want to hurt anybody and I wouldn't want anybody to say anything bad about me.”

It may just be you and a computer screen, or a couple thumb presses on a smart phone. But a tweet can be the same as a megaphone for your ideas and your emotions in front of a crowd of millions.

Twitter has more than 100 million users. Facebook has eclipsed 800 million users.

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