“Be careful what you post on social media.”
I’ve heard various forms of this warning too many times to count. Every so often life becomes very real for someone who didn’t pay attention to that warning.
The 2016 presidential campaign is upon us and candidates and potential candidates are busy building their teams. In February presidential hopeful Jeb Bush hired Ethan Czahor to be the chief technology officer of his political action committee. After the announcement of his hire, journalists did some digging in his social media accounts and found some questionable tweets. One would think that a guy who sold his website to AOL would know better. Czahor ended up resigning.
A month later, Liz Mair a communications aide for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker got in some trouble for questioning Iowa’s importance in the presidential race. Her posts offended some Iowans- the state has the first presidential caucuses and is considered an important state to win for those running for president. She too ended up resigning.
Mair is has a great resume of clients she has worked for as a digital communications strategist and is now writing articles for the Daily Beast. She tweets that she has some great things lined up for her, so I’m excited to see where she ends up in 2016.
These are just two examples of what I believe are a few tweets being blown out of proportion. As a communications professional and someone who hopes to work in politics one day, I do worry that something I posted on Facebook or Twitter YEARS ago might be used against me. I try not to post ignorantly, but in 2011 when I got a Twitter account, I definitely could not have predicted it’s role in my life or its role in my profession.
For the most part, you can’t judge someone from a few tweets they have made,; at the same time, one must be smart on social media. It seems like the line between being yourself and not offending people is a fine one to walk, but hopefully a tweet or a Facebook post won’t ever cost me my job.