Are you sure you want to say that on Twitter?


Most people know nowadays to be careful with what you blog. Whatever you post is likely going to be out there for a long, long time. Long past the time that you thought this or that was so important or cute that you just had to share what was on your mind.

For the most part people self-regulate themselves in blogs now. Makes sense. They’re usually signing their name to each and every post.

After today’s egging event with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, I started browsing around some of the comments. I was expecting to read quite a few highly negative comments about Microsoft on Gizmodo and the like. Sure enough some pretty obnoxious comments were sprinkled about. What’s always so interesting about situations like this is that people post these comments annonymously. Again, makes sense, since most of the time they’d never make them in public. Only when they are cloaked in annonymity or wrapped in the masses of others are they eager to make their claims.

Then I decided to check Twitter, via Tweetscan, to see what people were saying. Sure enough, there were similar, albeit shorter, comments that I’d read elsewhere. But there’s a big difference here. A few people are using their real names or identities that are easily discoverable with a little Googling.

I’m not sure if these people are really thinking through what they’re doing. Do they really want their names or reputations as a designer, IT person, or whatever aligned with someone that stands up and throws eggs at a presenter in a classroom setting? You want the next company you pitch for a job, or to sell your next venture to (several people have links to sites that they work at or have founded on their Twitter profiles), to read this? And further, is what you’re saying really the position you want to defend in five years? Ten? To your kids?

Maybe for a handful of you the answer will be a resounding yes, but I expect for most it’s not something you’d really want to have hang around.

And that’s the thing about Twitter. Whatever you say, you can’t delete (for most of us that make our Tweets public anyway). That’s a bit different than on a blog where you can’t take back what you just posted. Tweet something and it’s going to be archived in multiple places and searchable via Google for, well, as long as Google is around. So my suggestion: Think a bit before you post.