The Art of the Twitter Meltdown
People use Twitter for all sorts of different reasons; to network, promote, try out material, converse, vent. Never before have we had the technology at our fingertips to allow us to share our every passing thought with total strangers. But therein lies the problem: real life rules don’t always apply to online life and the lines get blurred. Why is it that the filter we use in every day life gets all but switched off when we connect to the internet? This is especially true when it comes to the public meltdown, Twitter style.
I’m all for everyone being comfortable with who they are and what they share – more power to ya. But has it ever occurred to you that we don’t need to know everything that’s going on in your life? It’s OK to hold a little back every now and then. Recently I’ve witnessed more than a few full blown Twitter meltdowns than I care to remember and they’re all…well…embarrassing.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m prone to the odd rant on my Twitter timeline every now and then, but more or less always with a view to encouraging debate. If I notice myself jumping off the deep end a little, I rein it in so as not to make a complete twat of myself in a public forum. Furthermore, no one really needs to be subjected to my endless stream of rage about something they may not particularly be interested in.
Recently I’ve noticed meltdowns that are either extremely personal or work related and both are pretty inappropriate. I’ve seen a few women totally lose it on Twitter about their lack of love life, why no one will date them, why is this happening to them etc – I figure it would be a little harsh to suggest they read their own timeline. After reading all their own whining, they probably wouldn’t even want to date themselves. See, that’s the kind of rant you should save for a quiet night in with the girls. You can’t just put your full-on crazy out there for the world to see and wonder why men aren’t flocking to you. On the other hand, maybe it’s best they know what they’re getting up front.
Then there are the professional meltdowns, people calling out their competition, exposing things on Twitter that have no business being discussed anywhere but in your workplace. Highly unprofessional. On more than a few occasions, I’ve watched these meltdowns and thought ‘I would never work with that person’ – so if I’m thinking it, imagine what large multinational companies are thinking? You’re hardly creating a good impression.
Not everything is meant to be shared. Just because we now have the platform to publish things for all to see, doesn’t mean we have to do it. There are things that go on behind the scenes in work and in life that happen behind the scenes for a reason. While it may be cathartic for you, those tweets stay out there. So next time you feel the urge to purge all those pent up emotions in a series of 140 character sentences, just remember: Think before you tweet.