Twitter all you want, but remember people can see you

Twitter has really taken this nation by storm. It seems like ever since we learned about this “twitter” in PR class that is all people can talk about.  I find myself browsing people’s tweets constantly finding it entertaining and useful. Twitter is such a great place to market, network and research.

Two of my family members find twitter is creepy, and they are constantly sending me articles about why I should not Twitter.

So I was not surprised when I checked my email this morning and found:

Twitter gets you fired in 140 characters or less.

The email linked me to a MSNBC article written by Helen Popkin that described how one person’s tweet got him fired.

This got me thinking, “How can people be so silly?” Of course your employers are searching the web!

This guy in the article tweeted, “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Of course the company found the tweet, and was not very happy.

Even though twitter is a great place to express how you feel it also a place where companies can see what you feel.

Then I was reading PR blogs for class, and I found PR Squared’s, a PR group who specializes in social media and marketing, blog posting “Twitter Rule #2 Remember that you are being watched.”

This blog brought up many great points. When we are working for clients, companies, etc. we have to keep in  mind what we post may come back to haunt us.  They discuss how if you are upset do not tweet something you will regret because what if a client sees it and reports it to your boss? Or what if a reporter sees? Do you really want something like that in an article?

Twitter is a fun social network site, but we have to keep in mind we are professionals. We take down our myspace and facebook photos that are not appropriate, and now we need to make sure we only tweet things our future bosses or clients would not be embrassed or angered to read.

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17 Responses to Twitter all you want, but remember people can see you

  1. plepkows says:

    Anytime someone publishes something online – whether it be a blog post, a Facebook comment or a tweet – they have to remember that things that are published online are permanent and anyone can find them. Especially as young professionals, I think many of us are especially naive and may post things we may someday regret. The truth of the matter is that everyone is online these days, and with technology such as Google Alerts, finding information about others can be nearly effortless. I agree with your post, and I also agree with rule #1 on PRSquared’s blog that you should be careful about when and how often you post, since clients can measure what you are really doing at work. I think this is something we all should remember. If we are going to present ourselves as professionals, we have to be careful when communicating online and hold ourselves accountable when our actions are damaging.

  2. tmpace says:

    I agree rule #1 is very important. If clients think you are always on twitter then they are probably like. “why I am paying all this money?” Thanks for your comments!

  3. Nancy Flores says:

    This is really hard because employers want to see that you have a presence on the internet. In fact, I was told that some employers question your skills if you don’t have a basic presence on the internet. But if you are on the internet you have to remember that there are things that people can see, including potential employers. It is just like plepkows said, what you post or blog or comment is on the internet forever. Think about netiquette when your on the internet.

  4. tmpace says:

    I remember Dr. Gilpin talking about having a business twitter account and a personal twitter account. I think that may be the way to have a professional presence, but then you can also have a personal presence too.

  5. kbergeron44 says:

    It seems like twitter is getting everyone in trouble these days. Two NBA players have been reprimanded by the media for tweeting during halftime of games and according to, twitter is the cause of Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer breaking up. Looks like people need to Tweet Responsibly!

  6. jsaxarra says:

    I agree with the comment above in that finding info about others is basically effortless now. It’s almost comical how many people don’t make the slightest of efforts to hide content of them online. A ton of my friends have pictures up that would make potential employers laugh them off and they seem to be oblivious to it. Not to say that I’m the ideal candidate for a position but I feel that I’m a little more aware of how serious the internet can help or hurt you than many of my colleagues.

    In the same sense, I feel that it’s the employers’ responsibility to take content for what it is and, if possible, try not to read too far into it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending the guy taking four beers in a bong or the girl flashing whatever part of her seems to be the whitest, but if it’s not extreme perhaps it could be looked at as more of a, “I remember those days in college…”

  7. kristenih says:

    I think this is a great blog. Starting off our careers I think that we still are a bit naive when it comes to what is or is not appropriate. This is a new age where social networking is one of the biggest ways to communicate with others. Companies are realizing that this is a great way to communicate with the public and therefore have a strong presence in the realm as well. I think it is funny how it used to be where we had to be careful not to make the wrong impression in person, but now we have to be careful what we do electronically. Wow how times have changed and developed. I guess you want to have the social networking accounts and profiles you have to realize that anyone can see it and that means you have to present yourself professionally at all times.

    • tmpace says:

      I think Twitter is so new that people do not understand how public it is just like when we were first introduced to facebook.

  8. lmdavis2 says:

    It’s really important to remember to keep your personal life and work seperate, however somtimes they do overlap. This is no different then when all of sudden Facebook got huge and employers started using it to look at future employees. People just have to be conscious about what they put on the web both personally and professionaly. Whatever is on there, will always be there.

    As far as twitter, I think people should have seperate accounts for work and personal. That way you avoid the issue all together.

  9. haleypetersonasu says:

    I completely agree. Taking resposibility for social media is the FIRST thing one must thiink about before they let their inner most thoughts be seen by the public. If you are tweeting about something for all to see, then it would only make sense to take responsibility for it.

    On the other hand, I believe everyone should be allowed to express themselves however they would like. This is where setting up seperate personal/work accounts definitely comes into play.

    If soomeone is thinking twice about writing something then they probably shouldn’t write it. Which is more important: Job security or being socially open through media? This really isn’t that hard to abide…

    • tmpace says:

      Good point. I think twitter is a great place show your personality, but we still have to be cautious.

  10. sekane says:

    I think all social media can effect many aspects of your life, whether you know it or not. Facebook causes this problem, twitter causes this problem, myspace, etc. It is important to promote yourself on the web, but not to ruin yourself. I have heared of countless job losses due to poor publicity of one’s personality online.

    I definitely agree about multiple personalities as well, a work personality can be very different from a social personality. It is important to represent yourself well in both ways.

  11. kparma says:

    If you don’t want people to see what you write on Twitter, don’t get a Twitter account. It’s so simple, yet so many people are getting in trouble. However, it’s not that hard to keep things appropriate on Twitter, come on. On the flip side of things, I noticed some posts above that discussed how we need to be so cautious of what goes on Facebook and MySpace. I completely understand why that is, but I frankly think it’s stupid. I don’t think I should have to portray myself as some completely innocent, straight-laced girl who never goes out with friends or has a good time. In our Business and Future of Journalism class, Professor McGuire talked about how many of the employers who are judging us probably wouldn’t have been hired if Facebook and MySpace were around years ago. I frankly agree and don’t think we should have to portray ourselves as completely 100% no fun. But I do think we should keep the partying pics to a minimum.

  12. tmpace says:

    Good point. I think it is good to show you can fun, but within reason.

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