Accusing social-media addicts of oversharing is the very definition of shooting fish in a barrel. Yet New York Times columnist Roger Cohen managed to botch the job last week. In his Thursday piece, "Thanks for Not Sharing," Cohen's primary example of an overly personal tweet that he just "came across"—which read, "Have such a volcanically deep zit laying roots in my chin that it feels like someone hit me with a right cross"—was actually posted in February 2010 and is so dated that it even appeared in Jeff Jarvis's 2011 book Public Parts. I couldn't find any trace of a second tweet Cohen mentioned seeing about a "dreaded consult on colon stuff." But Cohen's worst offense is just being a complete jerk. He mocks a supposed Facebook pal named Scott for calling his wife his best friend. And worst of all, in the final four paragraphs, he joins his 15-year-old daughter in literally laughing at a friend of hers who posted on Facebook about missing her boyfriend. That's right, in an age of chronic cyber-bullying and privacy infringement, a New York Times columnist quotes and ridicules the lovesick confessions that a teenage girl posted to her friends on Facebook. I'd rather see someone tweet about an underwhelming burrito lunch than see a major media figure being a privacy-violating, truth-fudging bully.
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