“Horrible.” “OMG.” Two tweets, one big lesson.
It started after Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams last week. TV cameras were there to capture the moment when the first openly gay NFL player kissed his boyfriend in celebration.
That’s when Don Jones of the Dolphins tweeted “OMG.” And when his followers asked if he was referring to the kiss, he tweeted “Horrible.”
Everyone makes mistakes, but so many of the worst Twitter offenses are preventable. Why is it so hard for people to understand that when you share something on social media, you are sharing it with the world? Once it’s online, it stays there. There’s really no difference between tweeting it and saying it to someone’s face. But for some reason, people don’t see the connection.
Turns out, Jones was fined and excused from team activities. According to a Dolphins news release, Jones can’t come back until he “undergoes and completes educational training.” Jones deleted the tweets. He also apologized and then, for some reason, made his account private.
Interesting that two days after this happened, Twitter officially announced a mute button. While that will let you basically pretend the person doesn’t exist because you’ll never hear from them, it doesn’t fix the overall problem.
You should always strive to not be muted or blocked or unfollowed. It’s tough to please everyone, but it’s easy to stay professional. Here are a few tips for all social media platforms you might want to bookmark or pin to your cubicle wall.