How to change your life in 140 characters – #YouAreFired

How to change your life in 140 characters – #YouAreFired

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The Twittersphere was once again the centre of controversy this week, as one Canadian worker ran into a bit of a purple haze with a tweet that left him jobless.

The man in question was an oil shop worker from the Greater Toronto area.  Astonishingly, he turned to Twitter to source an illegal substance, putting a call out to local ‘suppliers’ to deliver said items to his place of work.

However, his tweet was intercepted by the local police department – The York Regional Police. As no actual offence had taken place, the police decided on a light-hearted approach and responded via its own Twitter page, with a tweet stating: “Awesome! Can we come too?

The department’s tweet went viral – being retweeted more than 2,700 times in the first 24 hours – and the ‘dopey’ employee was, predictably, dismissed from his place of work.

This got me thinking about just how easy it is to dramatically change your life at the tap of a few buttons. It’s glaringly obvious that some individuals have scant awareness of the consequences of their social media behaviour…with many having paid a heavy price as a result.

You only have to jump back a few months to see how things panned out for young Paris Brown, who was set to be the UK’s first youth crime commissioner – until tweets from her past came back to haunt her.

I’m not suggesting that freedom of speech should be curtailed across these platforms. One of the things that makes social media great is the chance to share your thoughts, opinions and feelings.

What’s crucial, of course, is that people understand the need to take full responsibility for their online persona.

So, my advice? Treat social media as you would a dinner party conversation: avoid politics, religion (unless you’re @Pontifex or @DalaiLama) and sex. Oh yeah, and try not to request anything illegal!