So "be careful little mouth" - via keyboard - "what we say," just like in the Sunday School song.
10 things to keep in mind for tweets, blogs, and FB:
- If our mom would get upset at the morality or wording, it's probably not for public consumption.
- Compliment others and post those replies for everyone to see. Sharing kudos is easy and gives others a boost.
- Be nice in public. Complain or object in person, preferably in private. The exception is if it's a systemic problem and we're willing to go on a limb to point it out in public. There are always repercussions for courageous candor, so evaluate if it's a hill we are willing to die on.
- Share great ideas and links, not just fluff and stuff. What helps us may also be interesting to another person.
- That said, it doesn't matter what great idea we share if a coworker feels attacked or undermined. If the boss delineates turf rather than team or enforces a strict hierarchy, remember there are lots of other ideas out there. Don't swim in a coworker's wading pool.
- Don't slam the door on our own foot. Rather, put our "best foot forward" especially when we're smack in the middle of a "situation." If we can't say anything nice... best to be quiet until we can say it nicely.
- Remember the words anonymous and names and details have been changed to protect the innocent. The innocent include other persons who can't rebut with their POV. Keeping tabs on a process via words may be fine, but naming names and giving exact details hurts rather than helps.
- Memory is fickle. Keep a print-out file of our highs and lows posted online or important replies we make to others' posts. This is a great way to pattern what we like or loathe, especially after a situation is over. Avoid future pain by learning from (not reinventing) the past.
- Track the progress of a relationship with a boss or coworker by keeping a print-out file of out-of-the-ordinary praise and criticism. Notice details in others' emails or tweets that suggest we might be in danger. Keep compliments that evaluate our strengths. Those provide excellent perspective, emotional distance, and future direction when leaving behind a friendship, church, job, or town.
- Even when the past is forgiven by God, it's never forgotten online. Someone else may be keeping track or checking on us, too. (See #8, #9.)
Got any wisdom to add? We'd love to read it!