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Think Twice Before Pushing Send

In my new book, Sex, Lies, and Twitter I outline what exactly some sportswriters are actually doing on the site while representing their companies and I can tell you its isn’t just covering the team they are there for. Twitter has become an open field where people are too free to express themselves without thinking of the consequences. It has clouded adults’ better judgment.

Social media is just that: FOR SOCIAL purposes, instead it is being used to cyber bully others, getting a quick score, and Spam is at an all-time high. People spend way too much time in front of a computer screen these days and less face time. 

Twitter and even Facebook, have ruined personal relationships, only because we rely on them more than actually sitting face to face and actually having a conversation. People would know by your tone of voice if you were joking or if you were serious, no one can really grasp that when they read it on a social site.

This is why I think Twitter should not be a place for businesses to turn too unless stern ground rules are in place. If they want to keep their jobs, they will know that when they are on social sites, they are to behave like professionals at all times! Whether its personal or not.

In some studies it is suggested that more than 80 percent look at a prospective employee’s social media accounts before making a final hiring decision. Which means that the line drawn between either getting the job or not getting the job can all come down to what you post or tweet.

People seem to think that there is a difference between having a “personal” account and a “Professional” account. As Brad Phillips wrote in, Mr. Media Training Blog, “For practical purposes, there is no difference between your personal accounts and your professional ones. If the words, photos, and videos you post to your personal accounts reflect badly on you or your employer, you may find yourself suddenly embroiled in a major corporate crisis—or out of work.”

Here are some examples:

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, voice of the Aflac duck, made some jokes about the Japanese tsunami over Twitter. He tweeted: “Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.” Result: he got fired!

Nicole Crowther was a recurring extra on Glee until she tweeted some plot spoilers she had heard on set. Result: She got fired!

Scott Bartosiewicz was a social media strategist for New Media Strategies. He accidentally tweeted the following from the corporate Twitter account for Chrysler while thinking it was his “personal” one: “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f*cking drive.” Result: Fired!

Toronto-based sportscaster Damian Goddard was fired for tweeting his opinion on same-sex marriage. Goddard tweeted this in response to a hockey agents take on same sex marriage: “I completely and wholeheartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.” Well, we all know the result: FIRED!

Ozzie Guillen. The Chicago White Sox manager got ejected from a game, started to tweet about it calling it “Pathetic” and well, he got suspended for that, when personally his Twitter account should have been closed.

Oh, and you can get fired using Facebook just the same! This is why Teachers should NOT facebook friend their students. One teacher in the Bronx, NY posted a creepy comment under on of his students pictures, “This is sexy” … he was fired the next day.

People need to be careful on social media sites. Period.

Not only that, but remember, anyone can Google your name and see exactly what you are typing and posting.

Here’s the best advice I can give people on social media sites today: IF you aren’t going to say exactly what you are typing in public or to someone’s face, DON’T POST OR TWEET IT. What it comes down to is, it’s really that simple.