Oh, Anthony Weiner. What were you thinking?
Unfortunately, Mr. Weiner is only the latest high profile example of someone damaging his or her career over some ill-advised tweeting. From Gilbert Gottfried and his tasteless jokes about Japan to the dude who made the bone-headed remarks about CBS reporter Lara Logan, people are making fools of themselves on Twitter.
The saddest part? Most of the people getting in trouble for tweeting aren't in the public eye. A Google search pulls up all kinds of recent examples of every day people getting fired from jobs because of something stupid they did on Twitter. From cussing to ranting and raving, we're losing the ability to edit ourselves.
As much as I like to knock Twitter on a regular basis, this brain-to-keyboard problem isn't Twitter's fault. It's merely providing a place for us to bring the stupid. The fault lies within ourselves and our inability to exhibit proper self-control in this Wild West age of social media. It goes without saying that a lot of people will be feeling an enormous sense of "tweegret" in five to ten years. Hiring managers will have a lot of fun reading everything that's been written, though.
And how about the increasing number of Open ID message boards that are bringing people out from behind their avatars? Media outlets are switching to Open ID message board systems that let (make?) readers post comments via their Facebook accounts. So now BingBong1234 is rapid-fire commenting on message boards using her Facebook account that reveals her real name and photo. She's telling people to shut up, go away and grow a brain. Let's hope her boss -- or a hiring manager -- doesn't tell her to go away and grow a brain, too. Any resemblance to real people or situations is totally coincidental.
I could offer advice, but why bother? There's nothing I could say that we don't already know. We all know exactly what we need to do, and the thing we need to do is to regain some much-needed self-control, use some common sense, and think about the consequences of our online actions in advance. This story isn't a new story, and neither is sexting. They've been with us for a few years now, but we never seem to learn our lesson. Why is that? Maybe we think it won't happen to us?
But it can, as Mr. Weiner and so many others have found out. Maybe the rotary phone had its strong points after all.