Oh, my! Read a story about a jury where multiple jurors researched the case on the Internet and posted updates in Twitter and Facebook. Have they lost their common sense?
Too much information (TMI) isn’t just about not revealing inappropriate details in your life, but also publicly sharing things online when it’d be better to talk to close family and friends offline.
I’m all for getting all the possible details in a case so the jury can make the right decision. That’s why you have two lawyers involved instead of one. They represent both sides of a case.
Most lawyers and their staff are smart enough to find all the information possible — I know that some might discover something and never reveal it. But they have rules to follow and we can only hope for the best.
Information from online research may or may not be accurate, truthful or important to a case. If jurors keep this up, then we might expect the court to collect their phones.
No doubt, you’ve read stories about people losing jobs and opportunities because of something they said in Twitter or elsewhere.
I know you realize that the Internet is open for all to see. Even if you delete something within seconds after posting it, count on it showing up somewhere. It could be in alerts, cached searches and elsewhere.
That’s why it’s important to think about who might read what you write. It could be a future hiring manager or client. Maybe you decide to run for office. Citizens will uncover everything possible. It doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrity or not — every single one of us impacts other people’s lives as employees, as family members, as friends and so on.
So next time you feel down or frustrated, write it down without posting it, sending it or mailing it. Sit on it for a day, several days (even better) or a week (best). Ask yourself if you would want a boss, client, family member or friend to discover this.
Besides, talking too much online sends signals that you might not be able to keep things to yourself whether it’s proprietary information or details about someone’s personal life.
Yes, I’ve made the mistake of posting something online (I thought it was private). I’m glad I did. The incident drilled in my head — HARD — ensures I think before I submit.
The best social networkers get personal and build relationships. You can add a personal touch without going overboard. Many of the online celebrities do.
What experiences have you had with TMI? How did it help or hurt the people involved?