My Dad is writing letters to his girls again. I don’t know about my two sisters but I do enjoy reading them…even if I am such a slacker in writing back. They are three pages or so filled with his memories of his much younger days, his regrets, his pride in his girls and his thoughts on all that is going on in this world around us today along with lots of warnings and advice. I have to admit that I rolled my eyes over his warnings about the perils of Facebook and what I might say or post on it. Good lord, Dad, what am I, twelve? Give me some credit, I thought. My immediate supervisor is my “friend”, so are my uncles and my dad. Trust me, I’m not going to revel in my most recent drunken girls-gone-wild exploits there…oh wait, what exploits? So I took his advice and tucked it away right next to my own common sense and wisdom.
I do have some, you know…wisdom, that is. No, really, I do.
In Dad’s most recent letter we see that he has discovered this thing called twitter. I guess he just discovered it…or at least I am to believe that he just found this crazy, new-fangled means of social networking. My Dad, being my Dad who happens to care about and worry a lot over his smart, adult daughters warned us of the hazards of tweeting activity. He is right, just like Facebook, there is a lot of potential to get into trouble with one’s tweets. Rest assured Dad, I am careful.
Still trouble can and does find me sometimes. That is the twouble, er, trouble with Twitter and pretty much any online activity that involves social interacting.
I follow several local news media as well as national media sources because I want to try to stay in-the-know in this age of instant news. See it isn’t all just about me tweeting that I’m lacing up my shoes to go running! So while I was doing my cool-down at the gym this evening I quickly scanned through the tweets that I follow and came across a tweet from a local news station with a lead-in to a news story about a scandal at my kids’ school.
“Wow!”, I thought.
All the rumors and gossip are apparently true since this “reliable” news source is tweeting some of it. When I get home, I catch the news segment on the local news station and find no mention in the interview or report of the rumor tweeted as news by the “reliable” news source.
“Wow!”, I thought.
Nothing like salacious rumors and innuendo to get a viewer to tune in. Yes, I tweeted that. I tweeted that because while there is a lot to say in this town about the scandal most of it is pretty much here-say, gossip and innuendo. The school, the parties involved and the local police all were not saying anything else at that time except to confirm that yes, the teacher was placed on leave pending investigation by the school administration and the police. So yes, I tweeted that. Then I received a direct message back:
FOX40 Before you jump to conclusions with snarky comments, our reporter told me on the phone she said that in the interview.
Snarky? Really? Hey, I’m the first to admit that I can be snarky, but really? I was just questioning the use of gossip and rumors as a legitimate lead-in to a news story. Um, okay. I guess I am being snarky. In the meantime, I am trying to use this sad, twisted event as a teachable moment for my kids, my kids who have been hurt by this scandal. I can’t explain the poor choices made by their teacher. I certainly can’t condone them nor defend them either. But until we know more I can teach my kids about the damage all this gossip does to the parties involved, to their school, to them as students of this teacher. So call me snarky, but I’m just trying to be a good parent in this situation. Yes, I tweeted that back. I also contacted the general manager and news director of the station as well. No, not because of the let’s-grab-some-ratings-with-this-scandalous-story. No I contacted them because how professional is it to call a concerned viewer “snarky”? After all, this person was tweeting while representing the local news station. Is this how this station wants to be represented on Twitter? I guess one could call it “misplaced outrage” and the tweeter did but really there was no misplaced outrage. Trust me, as more of this scandal at the kids’ school comes out I am outraged, righteously so. But trust me, it is directed at the teacher involved. There was no outrage directed towards the online editor of this station, just a little shock.
Again I thought, “Wow!”
So the news director got back to me this evening with just the right words to say. My point was taken as valid and he apologized. I accepted and thought okay, it’s done.
No, it’s not done.
Why do people like @@Nicurnmama feel the need to try to get people fired? ‘specially in this economy. People have too much time these days.
Really? Okay, now “Matthew” is using his private twitter account. Good for him! The only problem is “Matthew” just so happens to list his employer, the local news station, on his twitter profile. Honestly, dude, you are supposed to be a news professional, the online news editor and you behave like you are…twelve? But what if I did do something that might cause this twenty-three year old boy, yes, BOY to get something more than a reprimand? No, that was not my intent. So I contacted his news editor and asked him to please know that I had no intention to see this kid lose his job over his immature behavior directed at me. I also sent a tweet to “Matthew” with the same assurances.
@Nicurnmama Yes, indeed the are. I stand by what I said earlier, though I shouldn’t have sent it from the @FOX40 account.
Wow, just wow! I actually tweeted that. That was all I could say. Then I came across another tweet on my feed.
@RadioMatthew can you stop trash talking my mom? it really doesn’t make you seem tough or better than her.
Dude, you trashed talk this kid’s mother and now you got her all riled up. Perhaps you are twelve after all…okay, I’ll give you a little grace and say you are thirteen, like my daughter who tweeted this. It was then that I had to walk away, be the grown up and get my kid out of my twitter fight because as much as I love and adore her for defending her mother, I can fight my own battles.
Besides, here was yet another teachable moment for my kids. Twitter is fun. Twitter is a powerful, amazing tool in the world of social networking. I have made many valuable connections both personal and professional. Twitter, like other social networking sites and pretty much everywhere else we are online are powerful tools. They are virtual calling cards that we leave for everyone and anyone to pick up. The thing about these calling cards is just about anyone can and does pick them up and they are not biodegradeable…even when we take them down or delete them. I have learned this from a little experience and from the wisdom of a pretty awesome social media giant, Allison Worthington. Thank you Alli! Twitter is powerful…it is a powerful tool and it can sometimes be a powerful stain on you personally and professionally so like “Matthew” said, one should stand by everything they say there…especially, “Matthew” when you are representing your employer.
I hope you learned that lesson. I know that my thirteen year old learned that. In all seriousness, “Matthew”, I do hope that you got nothing more than a reprimand from your supervisor and that you have gained some much needed wisdom and grace. I was twenty-three once too. Thank goodness I learned my lessons from my own youthful mistakes. I hope that you will too.