I just heard about a person who tweeted some hostile words about a musical she had seen in New York. That tweet spread rapidly, as tweets do (expect when Twitter is down, as it is at the moment). She’s a performer herself. I guess she hasn’t received the memo: Anything you tweet, blog, “Facebook” (if I can turn Facebook into a verb!), put up at Google+ or anywhere else on the internet can come back to haunt you. Period. What she wrote could get her taken off of hiring lists. What she wrote can tarnish her career in an unrepairable way. Her tweet eventually (and rather quickly, really) landed on to national news. Did she remove that tweet? Yep. Did she apologize? Yep. Was that all too late? Yep. I’m sorry for her — we all make mistakes. It’s a rough lesson to learn, and one from which she might not recover. That’s one hard lesson. (I do hope people will be forgiving: we all can use an ounce of forgiveness now and then!)
I’ve become more and more careful about what I write. I like to be honest. I am fairly blunt about my fears and foibles much of the time, too. But some things just can’t go up here or on any other public place. If I wouldn’t write it on an “International Billboard” I’d better not write it here! I try to remember that at all times. (Yes, sometimes I forget.)
So this is just a friendly reminder to all those out there. If what you write isn’t something you’d say to anyone on the street don’t write it. If what you write isn’t something your employer would ever want to see, don’t write it. And if something you write is something that you think to yourself, “I can always take it down!” don’t write it. If it goes up it can come down, but if the Wayback Machine has already caught it you’re in trouble. (This was how I once found a blog entry of a composer who had really dissed another composer. He took the entry down, but too late … it had been captured!) If someone on one or more of your social networks has already seen it it might have been passed around before you have time to take it down. Someone might even relay the tweet or post to someone else, not knowing that it was actually something that wasn’t supposed to go public.
It reminds me of conversations that begin with, “I really shouldn’t tell you this…” or “Don’t tell anyone I told you …”. If those come out of someone’s mouth it’s best to walk away before you hear whatever it is he or she has to say. It’s just safer that way.
I like being safe. I’ve blown it a million times (or more), but I like being safe. I try to be that way as much as possible!