ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Don't be an Internet Idiot.

Updated on June 3, 2011

My mom always told me and my sister when we were growing up: never write a letter or say anything on the phone that you wouldn't want to see on a billboard in Times Square. That advice has only become more pertinent over the years; especially now that people are being fired, losing their government assistance, and destroying the PR of their company by saying things that ultimately reach the eyes and ears of the world.

Of course, it doesn't all have to be negative--the examples above are just the most sobering way to make the point that people have to start viewing social media outlets as potent tools which can be the harbingers of doom or delight, depending upon their use. In "On Writing Well," the best book ever written on the subject of nonfiction writing, author William Zinsser makes it clear that the best way to write is to make it seem like you're having a conversation with the reader.

Since this conversational style of writing has become the norm for social media outlets, it's important to remember the difference between saying "Dude, I frickin' hate working for this bloated whale of a company, Microswift!" to a friend, and posting it on a blog, tweet, or Facebook update. The Internet is forever: you can't get it back. Sure, you can delete your post, delete your entire blog account, or even commit web 2.0 suicide, but the fact remains that what happens on the 'net, stays on the 'net. Forever.

Let's Talk Turkey

Now that you've been properly scared, it's time to talk turkey. The reality is, the blurring of the personal and the professional online doesn't have to be bad. In fact, it can be really, really good. No one wants to read your blog if you talk like some pompous fatcat that just wants ROI on their newly-minted social media PR/marketing blitz. People want to feel connected to other people, and the way to do that is to talk to them like you would in real life. That is, of course, assuming that you have manners and don't swear like a sailor.

If you use the social media platform to engage in real, unbiased conversations with people about your business or interest, you're generating positive vibes. Positive vibes will create ripple effects that can only lead to good things for your business or interest. The whole point of social media is to connect with people you wouldn't otherwise have been able to, and hopefully form some new relationships as a result.

So next time you're about to post something on a social media site, consider what would happen if everyone in the entire world read it. Would your boss suddenly get an itchy trigger finger? Would your girl/boyfriend be interested in a 'break?' Would your customer base feel like the faceless corporation you represent now has a face--and they kinda like it? The choice is yours, so think long and hard about what you say, and who you say it to. Otherwise, you could end up like these people. And nobody wants that.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)