performance. Initially, the diva said, “She can't dance, her body looked like hell, the song wasn't great, one cheek was
hanging out. And, chick, don't stick out your tongue if it's coated." Later Cher tweeted she was "a little ashamed" of what she said. She tweeted, “”...somehow my ego had 2 get ITS 2 CENTS IN!"
I think this is one of the problems we have today in society. People think that if they have an opinion, they should express it. Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and other social media make it easy to express ourselves--instantly. Often, like Cher, we regret it later. There are many situations when it is best to keep your mouth shut. It helps to keep the peace.
For example, when I go shopping for a few items, I sometime get in line at the checkout line that says “15 or fewer items.” I then find myself mentally counting the items of the jerk ahead of me who has 16 items. I would love to state my opinion of his math abilities, but, so far, have kept my mouth shut.
It reminds me about a time when I computed to work and had to pay a toll. As I approached the
tollbooth, I read the bumper stickers on the car ahead of me. I disagreed with everything I read and I drew a mental picture of the driver. I wanted to tell him/her how much I disagreed with his/her politics and what an ass I thought he/she was. When I tried to pay my toll, the toll collector told me to go ahead through because the person ahead of me paid my toll. I felt like a jerk. I could not believe how quickly I formed an opinion of someone I had never met, and how wrong I was. Fortunately, I never got the chance to express my opinion, or to thank him/her.
We need to be careful about express our opinion in the heat of the moment, especially in e-mails, tweets, Facebook, and other social media. One way to do that is to follow the ethical principles of the Rotarians. They recommend that in everything you think, say, and do ask yourself the following:
First, is it the truth?
Second: Is it fair to all concerned?
Third: Will it build good will and better friendships?
Fourth: Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
If you can’t answer yes to all these questions, you may want to consider keeping your trap shut. (Learn more about Rotary at http://www.rotary.org/)
I wrote about the use of e-mails and social networks in my e-book, Leadership for New Managers: Book Two, http://smashwords.com/b/300090. Here is part of what I wrote:
Electronic mail tends to become permanent records once sent. E-mails have been the undoing
of many a leader and even organizations and politicians.
The same can be said of tweets and blogs.