Everyone’s always talking about social media and how you need to get on Twitter. If you’re not on Twitter or on Facebook your business is going to suffer and you’re going to go poor. You absolutely need to leverage social media to make it big. That’s all you ever really hear.
Do you ever stop to ask, what’s the point of social media? Why do I need to be on Twitter? Is it really the end of the world if you less followers than someone else?
Is there another side to social media? Can social media ruin you? Yes it can. Allow me to share a few examples with you on how social media has cost certain individuals thousands of dollars (and their jobs!):
Miguel Torres, a fighter with the UFC lost his job with the company over a tweet. I’m not going to repost the tweet because it was inappropriate enough to get him fired, but you can read the story here. Torres’ job is to beat up other men and hurt them. Yet he got fired for saying something hurtful on Twitter. Social media hurt him more than his competitors.
Helio Castroneves (3-time Indianapolis 500 winner) was fined $30,000 when he called a director a “circus clown” on Twitter. That’s a lot of money to lose over something under 140 characters.
A girl I never met, but worked with one of my former professors had a job offer rescinded when the manager at the company found a picture of her dressing like a you-now-what, drunk at a club. It was a photo that would help you with your job application at Hooters. Not as an engineer or teacher.
I could go on with the examples. Actually, I’m sure that you guys have plenty more examples of friends that did something totally dumb on social media. You get the point by now.
I’m by no means any sort of social media expert. I’ll go as far as to say that I suck at social media. I do know a few things that you need to know about social media.
I need to share a few things about social media with you so that you don’t ruin your life, your career, or your bank account balance.
What’s your audience? What’s your audience into? I run a blog aimed at 20-somethings so I’m not too concerned about cursing or saying something rude on Twitter or Facebook. If you run a service for account professionals or coupon-clipping parents, then you can’t be getting too wild on Twitter.
You seriously don’t know who’s on the other end. If your Twitter or Facebook isn’t private than literally anyone can see what you’re writing. This is cool if you’re promoting your new eBook and want massive sales. What if you want to post a thought about one of your friends on Twitter? What if you get too drunk one night and start ranting away?
I once heard a great rule about tweeting on the radio. It mentioned that you shouldn’t tweet if you’re hungry, sad, grumpy, lonely, or drunk. You never know what you’re going to say that you’ll up regretting a few minutes later. Once that tweet goes out into the world it can easily be saved and used against you.
Long story short, watch what you say because you don’t know who’s on the other end.
I don’t get the hype of disclosing exactly where you are. I’ve mentioned the city that I’m in a few times when I was travelling through Europe, but I never gave my exact location out. You just don’t know who’s out there. What if you made some enemies? What if someone is out to get you? Why even bother giving your exact location out unless you’re planning some sort of a meet up?
When you post a picture on Facebook or Twitter, ask yourself: would I want this on a billboard? Once you throw something out there to the world, everyone will have access to it. I’ve personally put up way too many pictures from parties on Facebook. One day my great grandkids are going to find a picture of me cross-eyed in a bar (with beautiful women of course). When I think about it, it’s pretty scary to know how many pictures we all have out there. We don’t know who’s going to have access to what what say, do, and post today, in the future.
What’s the point of this article? Don’t be a clown. Watch what you do on social media. It’s not where you are right now. It’s all about where you want to be. Think of the scandal that would come up if pictures of you passed on on the floor surfaced if you decided to run for politics.
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