Internet communication feeds the narcissism that characterizes modern society. In the past, narcissism was recognized as a vice; today, we celebrate its virtues. Anyone with Internet access has the ability to create a world that centers on himself. Individuals with little to say create blogs on which they ramble at length about everything that happens in their own little world -- or the world at large -- unfiltered.
I realize that in part it's a generational difference. I registered for a Twitter account awhile back but quickly realized that I had no great desire to share my opinions on everything instantly. And the idea that anyone -- even my children -- would want to know where I was, what I was doing, and what happened to be on my mind a dozen or more times a day seems downright delusional.
In his resignation statement, Weiner said he wanted to continue to serve his constituents but that "the distraction (he) created has made that impossible." He's right, of course, but he's not the only one distracting attention from what's important.
Maybe the biggest lesson we can learn from the Weiner affair is to think before we tweet. Of course, there's a difference between sending dirty pictures across the Internet and tweeting inane comments every few minutes, but both are a form of exhibitionism we'd be a whole lot better off without.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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