This week I came across a post written by Peter Shankman called Yet Another Lesson Learned About Social Context and Having an Audience. In the post featured on Shankman’s blog, he reflects on learning lessons even as a professional. When he was a PR Writing professor at NYU, Shankman posted an inquiry to some of his PR contacts regarding internships for his students, however, the words he chose to use were taken out of context and he ended up with a call from the Dean and losing his job.
He shares this story as being a lessoned learned about being aware of what you are saying online and how your are saying it. “Remember – Just because your audience “knows” you, and “gets” your sense of humor, doesn’t mean everyone does, and as we know, what we post to a few people never stays there, it goes around the world in a matter of seconds.”
This is an important lesson to be learned and practiced. We live in a time where posting something online is so easy. It doesn’t matter if you are posting for personal reasons or professional reasons, you have to take into account your audience and if what you are about to post can or will in any way be taken out of context.
And according to Shankman, “The point is, if this could happen to me, someone who preaches regularly about what NOT to do on social, then it can happen to anyone. So I encourage you to learn from my mistake and transparency surrounding it. As always, be aware of what you’re posting online, in any form. Don’t completely alter your life, but ask yourself – Could what I’m posting be construed the wrong way?”