Fun? Absolutely — but act carefully

By · Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Your audience does not draw neat lines between the personal you and the working you, whether you are self-employed or receive a paycheck from someone else.

Twitter has become a particular hazard, where 140-character potshots that are meant to be funny can backfire.

Do these tweets showcase humor and sharp-edged sarcasm, or reveal a bias that leaks out? Your defense may be believable, but not believed.

Real-life example. CNN’s Roland Martin tweeted during the 2012 Super Bowl that his followers should “smack the ish” out of any guy who liked the underwear ad featuring soccer star David Beckham. Many people objected that the tweet revealed a bias. The gay rights group GLAAD called for Martin’s dismissal, noting that earlier in the day, another Martin tweet had mocked a player wearing a pink jumpsuit. Martin was suspended for a month.

Our advice. Do not to be so self-censoring as to choke the fun and spontaneity from your life. But do be aware and take care — much like the carpenter who measures twice, cuts once.

Special cautions. Take care when joining online communities and posting on social networks. Be careful about sharing too much.

Whatever you write, post or share may last a lifetime. Be remembered for the right reasons. Stand out as a polished professional. Act carefully.


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