Twitter originally began life as a platform for congenial, agreeable bulletins.
Its creator, Jack Dorsey, called it a “sweet fun chirpy thing” when he first tweeted.
All very laudable, except that now it has become a medium to air uncivilised spats between an assortment of celebrities (who should know better) and forthcoming innovation can only exacerbate these petty, public squabbles. For example, when Kirstie Allsopp complained about Alan Sugar’s behaviour on a charity edition of The Apprentice on Twitter his Lordship responded by branding her a “lying cow” and apparently told her to “go on a diet”. Charming!
There have been many famous exchanges like this, including one legendary duel between George Michael and Jeremy Clarkson. Heterosexual, homophobic and pig ugly were some of the milder key words George used!
John Harlow at The Sunday Times sees Twitter as a “bruising arena for causes and feuds… used for good and evil”. As he says, “some Tweeters appear to be very angry birds”.
If you’re a business owner using Twitter, you need to remember that your check in’s can follow you – forever. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. Don’t forget that you are creating a social footprint. Know when to stop and know your audience. It’s so important to consider your language and tone.
In a recent survey, 1000 Brits were asked to choose between social media and alcohol. The majority opted to give up the booze and keep Tweeting. That tells us how powerful this channel has become. The internet is growing more sophisticated and all businesses need to be part of this, but do remember:
- Twitter posts can follow you for life
- Leave your anger and resentment on the sports field!
Oh! And never Tweet and drink alcohol at the same time. You might spill some!