My father used to tell us, “Engage your brain before engaging your mouth. Once those words are loose you can’t get them back.”
I can remember people getting a little looped at company parties and saying things that they wished they “could get back.”
My father’s advise is wise if you’re talking to people at company parties or meetings, but also when you are using the new “social media” to communicate. Stop and think. If it’s on the Internet, it’s there for everyone to see. Do you really want everyone to see it?
I see high school and college students putting information on sites such as Facebook that makes me extremely nervous, and not just because someone dangerous might use the information to “get them.” Potential employers (even years from now) may happen on something they posted. “Mary Jane is a ____ and I would sure like to see ____ happen to her.” Suppose Mary Jane’s father is the head of HR at a company this student has targeted in a job search.
But it’s not just the high school and college students that need to be careful. You have to read this blog entry on a real “social” gaff by an account executive at an extremely large PR agency to get my drift…
So, if you’re going to be social, engage your brain before engaging your fingers!