“Think before you post” or “leave it out…when in doubt”


a keystroke you can’t take back!

It has been over 50 years since I sat with my first clients. It was a different time. Pong was being developed, fax machines were new technology, book keepers actually worked with pencil and paper, electronic desk top calculators were state of the art, 60 minutes was our weekly news magazine on analog Tube TV’s across the Nation. Polaroid cameras produced instant pictures; Kodachrome was the choice of photographers when it came to high quality reproduction “Simon & Garfunkel” even sang it praises. Traditional media were at the forefront of advertising in those years; FM radio, paid for TV, Cell Phones, and the internet did not exist in the consumer world. Most school children had pen pals, and there were foreign exchange students at advanced education levels, obituaries provided a level of what we now call Social media, we sourced photos from UPI and aspired to the American Dream of a home in the suburbs. Word of mouth spread at a slower speed and what we spoke about rarely got mainstream recognition.

Today what you see, say, do or are seen; saying, or doing, can be broadcast instantly on a  phone, tablet or computer in seconds and depending on the audience it reaches become instant fame or disgrace just as fast. Many of us get caught by endorsing, repeating and believing misinformation. Many of us might misinform, overstate, and beautify the not so beautiful. Many of us might become more vocal in the safety of the computer world. Many of us may offer wonderful and informative information not usually available. Many of us may enjoy new-found fame never before possible.

As an advertising and marketing professional I have always separated business relationships from family and friends. I have always closely monitored what I say and to whom I am saying it to. I reserve commentary among my peers so as not to offend. I have recognized that although I may not share the same political or social views of my friends, family, or business associates I value their relationship more than imposing my own personal feelings about certain issues. When appropriate I share within the group I am with and when it is not I listen to learn.

The main difference in friends of years ago and today in my opinion; is the disconnect of the physical part of the relationship. A major part of our internet group of followers or friends we never sit face to face with, we offer our well wishes and condolences in words not touch, or voice of pain or joy. We friend and cut friends with a keystroke. We pound our chests with our opinion without consideration of how our words and rants will be accepted, rejected or how well we researched our commentary. Often times pictures, and our posts are shared by others who hardly know us; to our dismay we may feel as if we never wanted our words and photos to go that far. Everyone who involves themselves with social media needs to be aware of how dangerous or advantageous this medium can be.

Going back to my days of Boating; I remember an old saying we would recite at the dock “when in doubt…don’t go out” maybe we should adapt it for today’s social media “when in doubt…leave it out”. This post; was not meant to condemn, provoke or praise, it was about the importance of reviewing what you say or post; because unlike a letter or photograph of yesterday it is much more difficult to control today’s social media and its destination.

This article  is based on my own opinions and experience…if you enjoyed my writing style please check out these other post categories; My Observations and Opinions, “Appeal of Wheels”, and “Art that works” Not “Works of Art”

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