An incident recently happened in Melbourne that has taught a very valuable lesson to one person in particular.

I am not going to identify either parties, but basically a woman posted on Facebook about a man she thought was acting suspiciously in a shopping centre around kids…she further identified the man by including a photo with her comments.

At first thought, just a diligent mother looking out for her kids…I even saw her post appear in my feeds, as people I knew shared it across social media.

However, it turns out she was wrong…horribly wrong.

The man in question had to front up to the police station to explain himself…and it turns out he was taking a selfie, and was perfectly innocent.

But because of the power and speed of social media, his reputation has now been questioned and attacked across the world.

He and his family have had to cope with the public’s immediate and aggressive response.

The woman who posted has now realised the hard way just how powerful social media can be…especially when combined with images…because the people who turned on the innocent man and his family, are now turning on her and her family.

The result…a man has to defend himself against a sickening untrue accusation, and a woman has to deal with the fallout from her mistake.

So what is the valuable lesson…always think twice before posting something on any social media platform…remember that once your words are out there, they remain out there even if a post has been deleted.

The same rule applies with photos.

AND always check your facts before making accusations…don’t be too quick to judge as there are usually two sides to every story.

As a blogger who uses social media constantly, this has been a very important reminder when it comes to choosing what to publish onto the interwebs.

There is also another part of this whole sordid incident…it highlights how we have to be even more careful about how we behave and act in public, especially when taking photos, as people can jump to the wrong conclusions.

An innocent selfie can become the cause for someone’s world to come crashing down.

It all points to the sad state of the society we now live in…suspicion of our fellow humans because there is no denying that there is a bad element present in our city.

But if only this issue had been handled in a better way, with perhaps some careful thought before reacting…instead, a life lesson learned the hard way.

Have you posted something on social media that you later regretted?