Living Wright: Watch what you tweet. Please.
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
10/23/12 at 4:49 AM
Go to Jason Ashley Wright's BlogOriginal Print Headline: Watch what you tweet. Please.
I've often been accused of telling people too much.
It's not that I'm a blabbermouth, as I pride myself in keeping secrets. In fact, people - strangers, even - have been offering me private tours of their skeleton closets since I was in grade school, and I've always seen that as a compliment. Almost always, as the tour of a teacher's closet at school with an actual skeleton creeped me out. But that was mostly because he also had weird things floating in jars of formaldehyde.
Anyway, quiet as I often am in person, I tend to have ... Well, the usual phrase is vulgar, so I'll employ Spanglish: Montezuma's revenge de la mouth. Such is particularly the case regarding social media.
However, I draw the line (ish) at certain topics on Facebook and Twitter, and I believe others might need a gentle reminder to do the same before embarrassing themselves.
Drawing the line
I'll be the first to admit that my Facebook posts are either shameless self-promotion of my work blogs or completely random fluff, as was the case Sunday night regarding a snake. (Find out more by reading my blog, tulsaworld.com/livingwright ... Sorry.)
Whereas I'll update my Facebook with silly little things that happen to me, I draw a line at baring my soul - or, at least, dirt.
For example, a friend showed me one of his friend's Facebook posts - a post that could be seen by close to 1,000 people between here and Europe - detailing a humorous incident of a sexual nature. I can't even tell you in Spanglish, amigos.
A different post from someone else was about a child the person had with another individual out of wedlock. Umm ... Why? That is totally no one's business.
When people share something that personal, they're usually venting frustration. But I think it may behoove everyone to count to 10 or 100, or go outside for a five-minute walk to let off steam before doing so via keyboard.
And it's so much easier to do it on Facebook than Twitter because a tweet tries to limit you to 140 characters. If you're anal about your character expenditure as I am, that would at least give you a few seconds' pause to rethink tweeting "I can't believe DeeDee told EVERYONE I had that affair with my electrician!"
Also, beware of PUI, a co-worker warned - "posting under the influence." It's the new drunk-dialing, and it can be much worse depending on how many Twitter followers you have.
Here's a safety check before you post anything: Would I want my mama to read this? At least three times a year, I ask myself that, and it keeps me from posting something rude or too depressing or flat-out stupid(er than usual).
Of course, some folks are going to pump their fists and chant "I'll post what I want, get over it" - the militant ones, perhaps.
For the rest of us who shy from chanting, maybe we should make a point to post more positive, life-affirming stuff - maybe 50 percent happy-sappy, 25 percent "I just had lunch!" and the remaining 25 percent funny cat photos. Keep the skeletons hidden, pretty por favor.