Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Internet and You, Handle with Care

"Out of Control" mixed media ©Mary Montague Sikes
As writers, we enjoy expressing ourselves. We feel passionate about a subject, so we write about it.

Sometimes that can be dangerous, especially if we forget that what we write will be out there forever. So we must always be careful about what we say because it might very well come back to haunt us.

Every blog we write, every e-mail goes out into a world for many eyes to see. What to do?

1. Always think before you hit "send". Is this something I want the whole world to see?  Can what I have written somehow harm my image as a writer?

2. Think about your characters. Is what you have written something your heroine or hero would be proud to have written?

3. Do you have a sense of who people are you know from the Internet? Do you like some personalities and not others? What internet characteristics do you like? Dislike?

4. Approach your writing with a positive attitude. (I try to avoid anything political because while half the readers might like it, the other half probably will be unhappy or even angry with you.)

What about you? Do you think about the image you will portray when you write posts to your groups? On your blog?

(I decided to write about this subject after watching weeks of coverage about the disappearance of the airplane over/in the Indian Ocean. People's homes are searched and their computers dissected. I started to think about the serious importance of image for each of us and how easy it is to portray someone we do not want to be.)


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Good post, Monti. I'm appalled by what some of the young people post--personal information about themselves and families. Also have a teacher friend who recently lost her job and I have a sneaking hunch it was because of the things she wrote on Facebook.

debi o'neille said...

Excellent post. I keep telling my daughters to watch what they say on Facebook about their bosses because they may find themselves jobless. They didn't listen. One insisted nobody could read her posts unless she friended them. Hah! she is now searching for a new job. :-( Who listens to a mom, anyway? Some just have to learn the hard way.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Marilyn, these things really worry me. Young people are far less cautious, and it can truly harm them. Thanks for commenting.

Debi, I understand. People often do have to learn the hard way. Thanks for your comment.

Eileen Obser said...

I've hit the send button more than a few times too soon, unfortunately. Now, if it's a personal message or something that must be gone over for just the right wording, I write it in Microsoft. After much pondering and editing, I cut and paste it into the e-mail area, then send it off into cyberspace. Great subject for a blog.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Eileen, that's a good plan! Thanks for sharing.

Beryl Reichenberg said...

I agree with all of the above and have one more: always read what you wrote and edit. Beryl