It never ceases to amaze me how many people (mainly professional athletes and celebrities), communicate on social media platforms so carelessly. I think it’s great that many of these folks are using these channels to connect with their fans and provide glimpses into their professional lives. However do these folks not realize the power of their words when they reach so many?
Take the latest case. Antonio Cromartie of the New York Jets tweets when learned of landing Tim Tebow:
We don’t need Tebow. We sell out every home game let him go to Jacksonville Tampa or Miami. Our wildcat offense can b ran by (Jeremy) Kerley or Joe McKnight we straight.
Y bring Tebow in when we need to bring in more Weapons for @Mark_Sanchez let’s build the team around him. We already signed to 3 year [extension].
Now, I have no problem with what he wrote. The guy spoke his opinion about the matter, and did it relatively mildly. It’s the fact that he had to “clarify” his tweets. When you speak your opinion about something in such a public way, you better be able to handle the criticism. And that’s exactly what he got. Quite a few people found his comments to be “dissing” Tim Tebow, or implying that Tebow wasn’t a quality player. It doesn’t matter what Cromartie “meant” with his tweets, it’s how they were perceived. And that’s where most of these athletes and celebrities swing and miss.
Do they ever take a minute to think to themselves what the repercussions of sending out a tweet might have? Did the thought ever cross Cromartie’s mind that…hmmmm…maybe this might set off some bad PR for me and my team?? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t care. But if that’s true, then stand by what you say and don’t feel like you have to have a press release put out clarifying what you meant followed up by boiler plate language about how great Tebow actually is for the team. Sure, the team probably forced his hand, but still, show some tact.
Have opinions. Be authentic. Utilize your freedom of speech. But don’t think that it doesn’t come without the right of others to be critical of what you say and the repercussions that may come with it. Bottom line…just think before you tweet. Might save you some headaches.
Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. says
What makes you think that athletes have tact? Or, that actors/actresses have intellect? I am not saying they don’t- but they are not paid for those attributes, so it’s not surprising if they lack them.
Our only job is to insure that what we write exemplifies what we believe. That’s the ticket to integrity.
True, but you’d think they’d be smart enough to realize that vomiting out their opinions without thinking it through probably isn’t the best idea with so many examples of it backfiring.
John E. says
I don’t think some people realize just how much damage control can be involved from 140 characters or less. I’ve caught myself on more than on occasion either canceling or immediately deleting (we are talking within seconds) tweets that I could see causing problems. The ‘send’ button can be your best friend or worst enemy so use it wisely.
Great advice here. Thank you for it.
They almost need a “are you sure” button. I bet that would would save a lot of grief!
danielle hatfield says
I think we all have posted something that others could or could not interpret this way or that. That’s the trick with 140 or less – it forces us to carefully consider each word. It is easier for things to go wrong when thoughts are spread out over a few tweets which, read individually, could me misinterpreted.
Conveying what you mean vs what others may think is a sticky wicket.
Keeping with the “I am responsible for what I say, not for what you understand” mantra is good – but there are always gray areas.
Donna O says
As one of the 40% of Tweeters, that does not really Tweet – but only replies – I have one rule for myself – NEVER BE UNKIND! You never know where your Tweet will end up – just because you do not Tweet – does not mean others do not Re-Tweet! Seems like all here feel the same way!
using tweeter has a responsible to think before clicking. anyone can read your tweets so be aware of what is your shout out.
Greg Meares says
You are so right!
Did you see that Spike Lee tweeted the wrong address. He was trying to tweet Zimmerman’s address but instead got it wrong and now the 70 year old’s that are living at the address are fearful for their life.
They need to remove the “Easy button” for some!
Think before post is great idea.to have a peaceful life in social media.
Susan Silver says
Of course, I agree about thinking before you tweet. Sometimes, the tweets people send to celebs is strange. I am sure it isn’t intended that way, but it can certainly be read that way. Jimmy Kimmel did a video where he had Celebs read actually read negative tweets that were sent to them on Twitter.
Half the time I believe they are just looking for the attention – old adage; any press is good press . . . unfortunately when staying pertinent in a twitter world takes continuous tweets/RT, it provides them the incentive to act overtly and outrageously (so says the busty mermaid @vellagames – yeah I get hypocrisy 😉
Cristin Cogen says
Hmmm interesting thing. Actually I really appriciate it because I just started to play with twitter and I need this kind of advices. Thanks 😉