Career Advice

How to Ruin Your Life in 140 Characters or Less

Lisa Johnson Posted by Lisa
min read

I both love and hate Twitter.  I love it when I am watching My Kitchen Rules, because some of the funniest things I have ever seen written in 140 characters fly through the Twitterverse while hapless Australian couples fail to meet Pete Evans' gastronomic standards.  On an aside, you can tell that these are not REAL Australian dinner parties, because nobody has become drunk and fallen under the table.  

Okay, maybe that's more about the kind of Australian dinner parties I go to... moving on... Anyway, I love Twitter for sheer entertainment value, while being somewhat jealous because I simply cannot hope to be witty and engaging in 140 characters.  

It's not in my DNA.  My boss often says that if it could be said in 20 words, I will take 100.  So 140 characters is beyond me – well, except when the trains are running late and I just have to vent because it's 200 degrees on platform 3, and rude, ignorant people are standing just behind the yellow line waiting for their train, which won't be there for another 12 minutes, but they stand right there so the 30 people behind you waiting to board the train pulling in right now can't actually get on board.  I do tweet viciously about that kind of thing. 

There is clearly something about social media that encourages us to disengage our brains, and perhaps no more so than Twitter.  People who are smart with their Facebook and Instagram accounts seem to suffer from a mental block with Twitter and say the most ridiculous things.  

Take Justine Sacco. She sent one hideous tweet and ruined her life.  A year later, she is still dealing with the fallout of the public shaming that ensued. Social media is powerful.  It has the potential for good and to change people's lives, but it also has the potential to destroy your career.  Just this month in the U.S., a young lady tweeted, 'Eww I start this [$&*@^$] job tomorrow.'  

Her 'soon to be boss' was shown the tweet, and he decided to save her the trouble by tweeting, 'No you don't start that [$&*@^$] job today!  I just fired you!  Good luck with your no money, no job life!' Now, most of us are not so witless as to say something ridiculous about their employer, right?  Well, you would be surprised.  Apparently, there is a service called FireMe!, which gathers employee tweets about their job or employer. There is a special section called 'potential killers' dedicated to people who have tweeted that they would like to kill their boss. (By the way, I can't make this stuff up.) I can't tell you what to write on your social media.  And please DO keep writing those hilarious tweets on My Kitchen Rules; they are pure genius!  But whatever you do, DO NOT bag out your boss, complain about your job or moan about your employer.  Otherwise, I might be reading your tweets on FireMe!  And if I am reading might your boss!