Before You Tweet…

In My Opinion….

The average half-life of a tweet is 24 minutes.   Twenty-four quick minutes… That’s nothing, right? What’s the odds that any badly worded or even emotionally charged tweet will be seen by the intended party?  Well, let me tell you, the odds are actually very good!

Think Before You Click:

What does that tweet say about you?   Will it hurt someone?  Can it be interpreted in a way that will negatively impact anyone or a group of people?

While the half-life of a tweet is just minutes, a “bad” tweet only needs to be seen by the right person at the right time.  That can happen in a matter of seconds.  Then, take into account that people can easily capture a picture of a tweet and show it to an intended party.  Also, inflammatory tweets tend to trigger comments and retweets.  So, take that tweet half-life and forget about it.  A tweet can take on a whole new life of its own.   

If you answered yes to any of the above questions or the next one, then perhaps you should think before you click:  Does this tweet come at a cost to me or someone else? 

Possible Alternative Options:

In-Person Conversations:  Sometimes there’s nothing better than to have a needed conversation face-to-face.  Especially if the topic is personal or of a private nature, twitter probably should not be your forum of choice. Instead, take a few moments to set up an in-person conversation that person.  It often is the best way to clear the air and any misperceptions.

Phone Calls:   It’s not always possible to have an in-person conversation or perhaps the person you want to chat with is not interested in a face-to-face chat.   In these cases, sometimes a call can achieve much the same as an in-person visit but with an added convenience to both parties.  You can still hear the tone of the person’s voice, discuss the topic to the level needed and whether the issue gets resolved, it’s at least been kept respectful and between the interested parties.

Email:   While emails aren’t as personal as a chat, let’s face it, some of us are writers over talkers.  Sometimes to get it all out we need to write.  And that’s okay.  Emails still maintain the privacy of the parties, though you do lose the ability to hear the other person’s tone.  Depending on the topic though, maybe that’s just fine and the trade-off of getting it all out is better.  An email can also give a person time to think about what you’ve said before responding.

Let It Go:  Perhaps it’s just an emotionally charged moment; one in which you will feel completely different about in a half hour or so.   Maybe nothing needs to be said or done.  Maybe the passage of time will take care of the issue.  Simple as that!

Tweet!  Tweet!

Don’t get me wrong, tweeting is fun!  It’s a great forum for businesses, personal shares, and so much more.   My main point of this article is that tweeting is public so what you share on twitter perhaps should be topics that are public-friendly.  

Personal relationships are just that – personal.  So, before you tweet something about someone else, definitely think twice about making public.  Perhaps consider asking the other party if they agree with the tweet.  

A tweet may have a short half-life but a relationship or impressions left behind from a costly (intended or not) tweet can last a lifetime.  Think before you click!  Enjoy twitter but cherish your relationships more!

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22 thoughts on “Before You Tweet…

  1. I think you could apply this to all online posting, not just tweeting. Our world is becoming so callous and this is a well timed and important message that everyone needs to see and process.

  2. Great tips, I’d never turn to Twitter to vent about an issue I had with an individual person. Twitter is great but it’s not the place for things like that x


  3. “Personal relationships are just that – personal.”

    I totally agree that we should think before we tweet or post any emotionally charged or hurtful words. If there are personal issues that need to be resolved, it is better to discuss this with the person concerned. Most of the time, expressing your anger and criticizing someone online only makes matters worse.

  4. I got badly burnt years ago when I emailed someone and they took it the wrong way (not at all how I’d intended it) so I’m super careful now with what I post online too! Great tips, Lisa, thank you 🙂 Lisa

    1. Good points – sometimes tone and intention doesn’t come across as intended in written form. Another cautionary tale with tweeting or posting. Thanks for sharing Lisa

  5. I so agree that we should deal with personal stuff face-to-face rather than putting it online. Even on Whatsapp – it’s so easy to misunderstand someone because you miss so much context to it. Great things to think about!

    Melissa | Rosy Melissa

  6. Ah back in like 2011, when I was a teenager, I used to tweet every single thing that came up to my mind. It was so damn embarrassing. I think it’s always important to think before you tweet, to avoid later regret! Great post.

    Laura /

  7. I have to agree that you should definitely think before you tweet! I think people forget that a tweet (or any social media post) can be a screenshot. I have known people have disciplinary action at work because of what they posted…is it really worth it? I don’t think so!

    Thanks for sharing, very thought-provoking post!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

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