Before you tweet that smart-alecky tweet, before you post that snarky Facebook post, hang on a second.
Is there a chance that what you are planning to share can be taken the wrong way? Will it cause anger or resentment? Will it come back to bite you in the butt? Will you have regrets shortly after you post it? (Of course, you can delete posts but sometimes that correction comes too late.)
Do you KNOW that your followers will get your subtle attempt at a jest? Might your sarcasm (which may easily be detected in your spoken delivery) be taken as totally serious when seen in print? If it gets retweeted or shared, will your new wider network think you’re funny or clever? Or will they judge you as dumb?
Lately I’ve noticed more personal-type tweeting on organizational Twitter accounts. Not a good idea. A local St. Louis media outlet has posted several tweets in recent weeks that have raised eyebrows. It’s one thing when an individual on Twitter criticizes, say, a ballplayer for a misplay. But when a media outlet’s online voice is snarky and mean-spirited, followers may find the posts inappropriate.
Humor is subjective. What you find hilarious may offend others. I recall showing the infamous Bud Light Swear Jar spot to a coworker about five years ago. I was surprised when she recoiled and said, “That’s horrible!”
I find the spot hilarious and laugh every time I see it. (You may be offended, so be warned before you click HERE to watch it. Though the spot has only been available online, it won an Emmy award in 2008.)
Regarding personal venting, it can sometimes feel good—for a moment—to slam a cellphone provider, an airline, a restaurant, a media outlet, etc. that has caused you grief. But often, those complaints come off as petty. Sometimes the incident that upset you was simple human error. And we should consider that not all large organizations are as uncaring as you might believe. Think twice or maybe thrice before you vent.
An important consideration: Think about your audience. Do they care?