The Three Sides to Every Online Conversation

Lately it seems I have seen few more online “battles” and “scuffles” where at least three people are arguing about something. Arguing about something is not necessarily a bad thing, but when it turns ugly and the participants start to tear at each other, it can give a bad perception.

Click image for original location.

Mack Collier, founder of #blogchat, said recently, “Remember there are 3 sides to every online convo: Your side, my side and the side of everyone watching our exchange.”

He’s right. When you are publicly arguing online, there are always people watching. On Twitter you can click the quote box on someone’s actual Twitter profile to see the entire conversation, you can follow the conversation on TweetDeck and you can follow the conversation in general. Monitoring is easy.

On Facebook, it’s even easier because you can just see all the comments right out in the open.

Stating opinions, slight arguments or even small disagreements are okay, in my opinion. When it’s a team against another person or two teams against each other and the convo takes a nasty turn, there is a problem because so many people can see it and it does not make anyone look good.

Click image for original location.

I’ve been involved in two real online “fights” and I realized afterward that it did not help me or the other person. If you want to fight online or someone is picking a fight online, take it to messaging or do not participate at all. My advice is to try not to do it so publicly.

Common saying: “what goes online is on the internet forever.” While someone may not get a screenshot of your argument, unless you go back and delete everything, the argument will stay there for quite a few days and quite a few people will be able to see it. And remember, all tweets are saved in the Library of Congress!

Just be aware of what you are saying and doing online in general because people will talk about it and see it which could lead to a damaged reputation for you.


Other posts about managing your online reputation:

Watching Your Social Media Footprint

Social Media Footprint is the new resume by @MichelleTripp

Job hunting? Watch what you tweet

7 Deadly Twitter sins by @JessicaMalnik

7 Deadly Facebook sins by @JessicaMalnik




Watching Your Social Media Footprint

There are tons of blogposts out there about social media and how to act on social media and this is just my opinion.

When you first sign up for Facebook, Twitter, a blog, a website, etc. you immediately start leaving a footprint.

Did you know every single tweet is saved in the Library of Congress? Of course, “only tweets from public Twitter feeds will be included, not those that have been set as private.” Read about it here:

When you start looking for a job, whether it is on social media or not, the first place a future employer starts looking for information about you is the internet. They look through your Facebook, Twitter, website, etc. In one of my first interviews, my interviewer told me he had been following me for a while on Twitter and had been looking through my tweets, I had no idea.

Of course, that didn’t really bother me because I keep my tweets pretty professional with a little bit of personality and my personal interests mixed in. I never really had anything terrible on my Facebook, but I’ve cleaned that up too and added my professional sites to it as well.

What is an employer going to see when they look at your page? If you are tweeting offensive things, things like “I ate a grilled cheese today,” misleading things, tons of profanity, tweets that bash people, etc. you are not going to look good to an employer.

Another tip: don’t tweet about hating social media or bashing social media if you are on any social media site because that’s pretty contradictory and someone might wonder why you’re on any social media site to begin with.

On Twitter, try to engage companies, other people and different Twitter chats in conversation so you are tweeting professionally and with other people. Get involved in your interests and your career, no matter what it is.  Here is a link to my favorite Twitter chats: and a link to all the documented Twitter chats:

I would also recommend watching what you post as status updates on LinkedIn, since it is a professional networking site.

Employers are out there looking. Do you really want something online that you post to jeopardize anything for your future? Think it over.

What kind of social media footprint are you leaving? What do you want to be known for?




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