On Friday evening I sent out a random message or 'tweet' on Twitter to say I was going to the pub. The next thing I know, I am joined by a Twitter friend and her family, and we had a lovely couple of hours chatting and getting to know each other. This impromptu get-together made my week and started the weekend off on a really great note.
In the meantime, last week I have had a colossal fall-out with a young person over a couple of messages that were put on Twitter about me and my family. This person sends a lot of messages via an ordinary cell phone. So I am wondering if this person forgets the messages are going to the wider Internet.
It is my observation that some people have little understanding of the implications of things they are putting on Twitter, Facebook and their blogs, making very inappropriate comments about people they know, their work and their family.
If I have said it once.....
I have said it a hundred times that you must be careful what you say on social networking websites, or in any online forum.
- If you use your own name, you have to be doubly vigilant.
- Even when you delete comments, they can still be traced by people who know what they are doing.
- Do NOT say anything online about a person that you are not prepared to say to them face-to-face.
- Remember that whilst you may mean one thing, your comment could be understood as something different.
- You may be feeling fed up and tempted to have a rant to your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Take a breath and wait 24 hours so you can see things more objectively and be less likely to post something that will get you into trouble.
- If you only want your friends to see your messages on Twitter, make your account a protected one, so that the only people who see your messages are those who follow you.
Image: 'Jekyll and Hyde in color'