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Say What Now?

People. Be careful of what you say or post online. The Internet is forever.

You've probably heard this piece of advice before, or even read some horror stories of social media woes. You probably paid attention and made a promise to yourself to NEVER EVER be the nincompoop who trash-talked her co-worker online, only to find out a day later than even without naming names, said co-worker knew she'd become the water cooler topic of the week, thanks to you. Or be the idiot who whines about the agents he'd submitted his mss to. Whatever may be the scenario, when you feel that itch coming upon you to rant/rave/raise hell/complain online--whether through your blog or Facebook or Twitter--STOP!

THINK!

AND THINK AGAIN.

It's all too easy to forget that what we say online can be viewed by MILLIONS of people from around the world. The thought doesn't even cross our mind when we press the Publish or Send button. Not when we're happily enclosed in our little writing shell, the four walls of our world literally the four walls of our house. 

Even when we don't name names. Even when we think we're so clever that no one's ever going to guess we're talking about our neighbor's spying problem, always assume that your readers are SMART, INTELLIGENT people, and someone somewhere will eventually figure it out.

So. Be cautious. STOP, THINK, and THINK AGAIN. You just might end up being the conduit to someone's misfortune just because of the things you carelessly let slip online. Or, instead of being the conduit, you become the victim. Whatever the outcome, someone's bound to get hurt.

Don't let that shiny screen in front of your computer fool you. There are people--real, live ones with feelings like yours--behind them.

So you're probably wondering if something happened to me. Nope, thank goodness no. (ahem) This is just a public service reminder.

Have a great weekend, everyone! <3

19 comments:

Jessie Humphries said...

I've never done this! Have I? Errr...I hope not. All positivity and roses from the B-Word!

cherie said...

That's 'cause you're SMART, Jessie, and a savvy blogger! ;)

Carissa Elg said...

I think there is much validity to this… But there's also a side that needs to be addressed… to me, that's being true to yourself. What you would never say, I might say with ease and not worry about at all. You know? I think it's important to stay true to who you are… your goals, your life… but still be smart about it, too. :D Great post, Cherie!

T.S. Welti said...

I love all the passive-aggressive posts on Facebook directed at unnamed people, "If you have something to say to me, say it to my face!" Oh, the irony.

You are very right, Cherie. The internet may be a dumping ground for some people. That's fine for them, but I'd rather take the discreet approach. :)

Bethany C. said...

IT WASN'T ME! I SWEAR!! :O

This is a great reminder, my purple sister. And WAHOO on your 48K word count--show off! I'm hovering around 30K for WINGS...slow & steady :)

Javid Suleymanli said...

Wow! How did you think that?! Because I thought it happened to you and that's why you remind it :) Thanks

Ashley Nixon said...

Ohh, yeah, I have a friend who was fired from her job just for apparently 'searching' someone online. Idk how that worked...but bad things must have been said. :/

The Golden Eagle said...

Yet another reason I don't social network, and don't particularly want to. :P There's some strange stuff on the 'Net . . .

Thanks for the reminder.

J. A. Bennett said...

I have never had this happen to me *whew* and I I can't believe some people are crazy enough to write a post when they are so mad. It boggles my mind.

greenwoman said...

Always a good thing to remember--we can see you!!!

Lydia K said...

I agree, 110%.
People have to be very, very careful.

cherie said...

Carissa, so true! It's important to be honest and present your true self. However, if you have a beef with someone, why go public? This is what I don't understand with people. There are many ways to confront a person but doing it in public is never a good thing.

T.S., haha! I know! FB is even more notorious for such things. Why is that? They lay out their personal affairs online for all the world to see. People don't utilize privacy settings either. Technology has given us spyglasses, letting us in to people's lives without the need to knock.

Bethany, is WINGS your new WIP? And oh, no it wasn't you! I'd have recognize that hair anywhere. :D

Javid, I read some articles and blogposts about how they've made the mistake of posting something, only to find it hurting them years later. For instance, there was a blogger who had posted something negative years before, but when this person got interviewed for his/her book by a local reporter, the old negative post got dug out and put to light. needless to say, said blogger was very embarrassed of his/her past behavior.

Ashley, yikes! They got fired? I've heard of people getting fired just from what they post on their FB accounts. It can happen.

The Golden Eagle: true that. There are great things on the Internet, but there are also strange and harmful things out there.

J.A.: yup. It's a sad thing.

Michelle, hi! *waves* 8D

Lydia, yup. You never know who's reading your stuff. ;)

Nisa said...

Always very good advice, thinking. ;) Great post!

Liz Fichera said...

Good advice. Unfortunately too many forget.

Life Unordinary said...

A rule of thumb I try to follow - write as if it will appear in print the next day. Is it okay for the world to read?

Anita Grace Howard said...

Good one, Cherie! Once, when I was VERY naive in the world of blogging (back when I had my FIRST blog) I once posted a rant of agent rejections. I didn't name names, but still, it was there and made me sound like a whiney little brat. A very astute and savvy writer/blog pal who happened to work for an agent messaged me and said basically what you did above. It made such an impression, I locked down that blog post and have never composed another like it. Nor will I. So you never know how many people you helped today with this advice. Someone just I once was, no doubt. Thank you!

ali cross said...

I couldn't agree more. I saw a sad case of this very thing just this week--we all really do need to be more careful!

Jenny Phresh said...

Oh, how tempted I have been to write certain things--but have wisely refrained! Of course, when I apply for a new job, my future employers may be alarmed by the tales of poo and shopping carts and presidential sex toys and such on my blog....oh hell, I think I already blew it! Your advice was wise but hath failed to save me. (Oh, I wouldn't WANT a job so stuffy that they would be offended by my true self!)

Tara Tyler said...

funny you should say that! i wrote the same thing about a year ago...bc (before comments)

stop by in the morning and pick up an award =)

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