Lessons from Twitter

By Scott Westerman
“whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

The Essence: Whenever or wherever you open your mouth, someone you care about may be listening. So watch your language.

We all yearn to communicate, to have people listen to what we say, and to be affirmed. The best way to earn that behavior is to model it. Here are a few tweet-sized lessons we can learn from the world of 140 character interaction.

Choose your words carefully.

Having a lot of followers doesn’t necessarily mean anybody is really listening.

Assume everything you say may be misunderstood.

Hearing only one side of a conversation never leads to understanding.

Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut.

If you can’t say it in a sentence, keep thinking about it until you can.

The quickest way to un-friending is to take an ongoing, overt political position.

Few people really care where you are or what you are doing, unless it interests them.

All regrettable on-line actions are eventually discovered by someone in Human Resources (or Reporters).

Avoid public arguments.

Have compassion. There will come a time when you will hope some one else has it… for you.

Quote only those who inspire you.

Don’t amplify anything you can’t confirm.

Never repost a link unless you’ve read it.

Re-Tweet to encourage a good Tweeter to tweet more good things.

Anyone on-line who offers you a lot of money want’s to empty your bank account.

A few of the on-line people you admire will turn out to be jerks when you meet them.

Validate any strange story with Snopes (The Urban Legend Site). If it sounds far fetched, it’s probably not true.

Some people who think well, can’t write well.

Never reveal a password or an entrusted secret.

Even as you gain friends, you will lose friends. Sign up for Qwitter alerts if you don’t believe me.

Small minds usually hide behind anonymity.

Sites that claim to be able to rate the efficacy of your on-line persona can’t.

Just because your Klout score is high, doesn’t guarantee that you have any clout at all.

The rules of courtesy apply, even when you’re dealing with anonymous idiots.

Today’s Facebook will become tomorrow’s MySpace. Be willing to explore new communities.

You’re not necessarily any wiser with thousands of followers than you were when you only had a handful.

The bottom line is that this is supposed to be fun. If it isn’t, then don’t do it.

Social Media isn’t as important as you think it is. Relationships IRL (in real life) are what it’s really all about.