I was watching ESPN America just now and they cut to a segment of Herm lecturing some rookie NFL players on how not to be a complete idiot (somebody needs to run that course over here for Premier League players). The last clip they showed was talking about social network and texting. Don’t hit send! In other words stop. Take a deep breath. Maybe even have a cup of tea. Then read it out loud to yourself. Is it still OK? Now you can hit send.
This advice is not just important for burgeoning sports stars. You’ve seen the Facebook examples where people rant about their boss whilst forgetting that their boss can see the post. Twitter can be even worse as it is public. You realise that means every bugger in the world can see it right?
Do not EVER slag off anyone at work on a social network. That is what spouses and barkeeps are for. Do not EVER say anything that could bring your employer or your clients into disrepute. Just received a snotty email at work? Going to reply with a cutting and slightly abusive response? STOP! Go back to paragraph one. Sounds simple right?
This aligns very nicely with a lot of writing advice. Always read everything you write out loud. You will catch a lot of errors that way.
I still tweet or facebook about work sometimes. I may complain about extra hours or how hard I am working. I may even say people are driving me bonkers at work. I don’t name anybody, I don’t explicitly state my employers name. It is just a normal person having the normal frustrations of a working life. If you are not sure about posting something after reading out loud it is quite simple, DO NOT POST IT!
I should point out that I am quite lucky and have always worked for managers who are quite sensible and just want the job done. Usually they are way too busy to micro-manage and let me get on with doing my job. If my boss wasn’t like that you certainly wouldn’t read about it here.
See, easy right? It isn’t. The temptation in the heat of the moment can be immense. Be strong, keep your job, feed your children/cat hordes. Back to Farmville with you.
A quick edit to say that Erik Lundqvist suggests staying away from sending anything whilst drunk.