It’s 7 AM, a Tuesday, and your alarm is beeping incessantly. Maybe you had one too many glasses of wine with your girlfriends last night. You call in “sick,” send out a Tweet that says “Pulling a Ferris Bueller!!” and snuggle back under your covers. Brilliant, right?
You know better than that.
Maybe there was a time, however hard it may be to remember, where it was less risky to admit such foibles on the world wide web. But these days, everyone from your 2nd grade teacher to your BFF’s pet (DogBook, anyone?) uses social media as a platform of communication.
There’s etiquette to remember when using Twitter, especially as a young professional. So don’t make these mistakes:
1. Tweeting about faking sick
Just don’t do it. Seem obvious? Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t think twice when tweeting to the universe that they just lied to their boss. There’s even a hashtag for it, #fakesick. Not a classy move.
2. Complaining about how much you hate your co-workers
Bad, bad idea. Odds are that your boss uses Twitter, your co-workers use Twitter, and your place of employment has its own Twitter account, too. Even if the person you’re complaining about isn’t following you—or isn’t even on Twitter—don’t think that means she won’t see.
3. Sharing confidential information about your place of employment
Even if you haven’t signed a contract, revealing something that isn’t public information can land you in trouble. Doubly true if it’s a client’s information you’re sharing.
4. Tweeting inappropriate pictures
Need we say more? Anthony Weiner did it, and look what happened to him. Even if you’re not a big wig politician, it could easily ruin more than your reputation in the office.
5. Bombarding your followers with tweets
No one wants to see one long, nonsensical stream of tweets from you every time they check their feed. It’s a sure-fire way to alienate your followers. Plus, your boss is going to wonder how much work you’re actually doing during the day.
6. Tweeting too much at work
Unless your name is Perez Hilton or tweeting is in your job description, limit your time tweeting on the company’s dime. Your boss is likely to catch on (see #5), and if you’re tweeting about the water cooler gossip or your awesome find on Rue La La…well, it’s pretty obvious you’re not working on the latest quarterly report.