Should Your Twitter Profile Be On Private – You love basketball, red wine, your fiancé, and the adorable puppy you two just adopted.
Anyone who visits your Twitter page would instantly see this- but should ANYONE be able to read your tweets? Does the whole universe, including your coworkers, clients, long lost high school friends,
And (most importantly) your boss really needs access to your every thought, especially when you have the capability to instantly send out a status that could seriously damage your professional reputation (Senator Scott Brown’s drunken tweeting, anyone?) Good question.
Having your Twitter on the public can be a positive way to let your coworkers, friends, and potential clients get to know the real “you.”
Your witty sense of humor, your friends, what TV shows you obsessed with, and so on. It humanizes and gives you a voice where you have elsewhere just been another face at the office.
Your boss may discover you both share the same passion for Seinfeld re-runs and before you know it, you’re the office favorite and life is grand.
However, public profiles are quite the double edge social sword because you can also just as easily over-share information that really should stay private. In my personal case, my Twitter is public.
I’m at a point in my life where I, A. have either learned to keep scandalous things off of the Internet, or B. really don’t have that many scandalous things to be worried about anyone of importance reading.
(I’m pretty sure the answer here is B. Hey, we all grow up sometime). However, I’m sure many of our readers have both exciting personal lives AND serious careers and don’t wish to compromise either with their social networking. And you shouldn’t have to.
Here are a few good rules to follow if you don’t want to put your social networking sites on private, but also don’t want to be the butt of office jokes. Because seriously, one impulsive tweet is all it takes folks.
1. Beware of TUI
Yes, TUI. It’s an acronym I’m trying to make famous in hopes of becoming an Internet star (just joking. Well, kind of.) TUI obviously stands for “tweeting under the influence” and is probably the number one way to instantly lose respect in the workplace.
Have all the extracurricular fun you want, but remember to turn your phone off and never tweet or upload photos while you’re out on the town, indulging in a cocktail or three.
Sure, you feel really smart and attractive out with your best girlfriends, but wait until the morning to recheck whether or not you actually look like a sloppy mess before sending out any information or pictures of your escapades.
Plus, you don’t want to give your boss a reason to question why you called out of work with “the flu” when you popped up on his feed dancing on a table at 3 am. On a Monday.
Pro Tip: Turn your phone off and enjoy the time out with your friends! You can always casually recap your adventures the next day with your office mates, instead of having them snicker about your tipsy live tweets.
2. Don’t Kiss and Tell
I know this may be a hard thought to swallow, but once upon a time people kept their personal lives, well…personal. Your acquaintances, co-workers, clients, and most certainly your boss doesn’t need a live play-by-play of your love life.
Sure, it will probably make great gossip for those around you but do you really WANT to be the center of gossip? No, you don’t. You should be the center of attention at work due to your stellar performance, not because you live-tweeted,
Instagram and face-booked photos of your ex you ripped in half then set on fire (though if you do happen to do that, please email me a screenshot email@example.com. It sounds hilarious.) Keep the drama for your mama.
Pro Tip: Announce happy milestone occasions such as getting engaged, married, having a baby, etc, etc and leave the breakup drama to reality TV. Stay professional at work and remember you can call your mom after 5 pm and vent all you want. Just not online. Ever.
3. You Know What They Say About Politics and Religion
They don’t mix. Or tweet. Or hashtag. You get what I’m saying. We are all entitled to our personal beliefs (Oprah 4 President) but should be very sensitive about sharing them.
You never know who you could offend by posting about your personal beliefs, and it’s much better to air on the side of caution than to later realize you’ve been bashing your boss’s political party for the past year and maybe that’s why she doesn’t invite you to lunch anymore.
Pro Tip: Unless you are willing to deal with the real-life consequences of a strong stance on hot-topic issues, keep your opinions to yourself. And remember, regardless of personal politics or religious differences- the love of cat pictures is universal. Trust me.
I hope these tips help you to continue living and tweeting responsibly. Are there any guides you follow in your personal social networking? Any mistakes you’ve made you really wish you could hit delete on?