When Twitter Goes Twrong

Yesterday I touted the benefits of social media.  I thought I’d better add one caveat…

…Facebook is fab and Twitter’s terrific however, occasionally, social media can bite you in the butt.

The “dangers” regarding Facebook are obvious.  If you say something rude or off-colour it gives people a negative impression of you. If you post a picture of yourself doing something inappropriate, it will certainly come back to haunt you in the future (FYI Mark Zuckerberg has a shoebox full of pictures of you at that keg party).

Same rules apply to Twitter. Whatever you tweet, sticks, which depending on how many glasses of wine you’ve had whilst tweeting, can be….sticky.

There’s also the issue of safety. Do you mention your children’s names? (Do you? I’m still on the fence). And what about family pictures? You can share as little or as much as you want, but whatever you decide, you need to make sure both you and your spouse are comfortable.

Speaking of sharing, I tend to divulge a lot of personal information. (In both url and irl life). I’m an open blabby book. Sometimes this can be a good thing. By letting people into my life, I’ve received so much support and invaluable advice.

It can also be a not-so-good-thing. When you put it all out there; where you’ve been, who you went with, what you did, etc. it can leave people feeling on the outside. Even as full-grown, mature adults, we all occasionally feel like we’re back in braces and acid wash jeans, akward and alone at the school dance. No? Just me? Alrighty then. Moving on.

I’ve experienced conflicts with real life friends who said I was “too busy” attending events and hanging with twitter friends to be available to them. As much as I wanted to put my hands on my hips and tell them how wrong they were, I can’t help but see their point. The impression we give online isn’t always entirely accurate. The interaction on Twitter or “Twinteraction” as it’s called (Fine. Nobody calls it that. Hashtag…#nerd) has a party-like atmosphere. It’s very social, hence the term Social Networking and sometimes, sadly, noses get put out of joint.

Being aware of this helps to avoid this unpleasant side of social media. Try to avoid tunnel vision and remember that people, other than those you’re engaged with in conversation can also hear what you’re saying.

Be safe. Be polite. Be respectful. Be inclusive. And then…Twitter is Pleasantville. 🙂

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