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Think Before You Post

bbefore you postIn my former life as an ad agency head I would always caution anyone who wrote a letter (pre PCs), or later an email, in the heat of anger to wait 24 hours and reread their missive before they sent it. Invariably they would either wisely revise it dramatically or not send it at all. We all become a little smarter when we slow down and think.

However there is an overwhelming seduction of the immediate communication of thoughts that the digital world allows. As we know, digital communications and social media allow us to post our comments and thoughts in real time in reaction to events as they unfold. There’s no “24 hour rule”. In fact timely posts to immediate events are most effective. Yesterday’s news is well yesterday’s news. However it’s the immediate reaction, without deeper thought, that gets many in trouble.

Think - Man in WordSo my advice to us all is simple….think, think, think really hard before pressing enter or send. If you have any reservation at all, then wait and do not send. Because once you do, your thoughts however fleeting and sometimes idiotic (or worse) are memorialized forever. The errant comment can be a career stopper on a personal basis and even more broadly can crush a business.

Here are some simple guidelines:

1. Is your post an angry retort? If so, stop & don’t respond immediately.

2. Is your post sexist or racial? Pretty obvious you are treading in career ending waters here.

3. Does your post disparage your employer or a competitor? Not very bright. Might as well resign the next day.

4. Do you think you’re funny by using a double entendre with a vulgar connotation? You are not.

5. Are you posting a photo or video that shows you or others in an unflattering light? Don’t do it.

6. Are you posting naked photos of yourself or others? Do you need to read a blog post to know how stupid that is?

It’s hard to bring back the 24 hour rule of the “good old days” of thinking before you send, so it’s doubly important to pause because as we all know….The Internet Never Forgets.




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4 Comments

  1. I always write my posts and then let them sit for a couple of days so that I can see them afresh before I post. The issue for me isn’t my posts but my emails. All too often I send to the wrong person, cc someone in error or reply to “all” when I shouldn’t.

    • Lonny Strum says:

      Gotta be careful with those emails Paul!. You never know what you are sending. But I trust you are discrete.

  2. I agree with your advice wholeheartedly, and have learned the lessons the hard way, daily. #thankyougrasshopper

    • Lonny Strum says:

      I think we’ve all erred many times. It’s amazing how smart we all are after the fact, but how dumb we can be in the moment of choice.

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