We’ve all been there – you’re frustrated and annoyed with your client or co-worker, and you’re just about to boil over. But instead of taking a moment to cool off, you turn to your trusty Twitter account and begin to vent about your frustrations. Then you hit Enter and release all your negative thoughts into the Twittersphere. For a few minutes, you might feel a little bit better having released some tension and begin to go on with your day.

Then you start to get responses from co-workers or peers and you realize maybe you went a little too far expressing your feelings online for everyone to see. You also realize your somewhat-professional Twitter account (everyone has the random Tweet now and then) has turned into more of a personal blog which it totally irrelevant to your followers. Suddenly you become a little less-credible, slightly obnoxious and maybe even a little harsh (considering who or what you’re Twittering about in the first place).

Then there’s the chance that the victim of your frustration Tweet might see it and immediately begin to retaliate on their end. If your comments were directed towards a co-worker, you might face even bigger issues in your office (more companies now-a-days are implementing social media policies in their company handbooks). If your comments were directed towards a specific client – which is just plain dumb – you could be reprimanded by your supervisor and create a problem that threatens your relationship between your business and your client.

We’ve been told for years, look both ways before you cross the road, think before you drink and drive and now with the visibility of social media, it’s time to be just as cautious with your online thoughts. Next time you find yourself turning to Twitter to express your thoughts, take a few seconds and think about the following criteria:
1. Is this appropriate for my audience?
2. Is this something I’d want to talk about in person?
3. Is this really necessary?

So remember kids, think before you Tweet, and no one gets hurt.

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