We can sometimes forget how easy it is to blast off a message in the heat of the moment.
One of the biggest drawbacks to these digital channels is that it’s hard to understand the emotion that happens behind a text (emoticons can both help and hinder this further). I grapple with this on a daily basis. In person (and those who know me can attest to this), I’m quite dry and sarcastic (maybe even a little dark) with my sense of humor. It is something that I can’t turn off and it can be hard to read in person, so I can’t imagine how challenging it might be to "get" in a tweet on Twitter, through a Facebook status update or in an email. There’s a reason why I write and Blog the way that I do. I’m shooting much more for clarity and directness.
When you’re really pissed off.
Social Media often makes me laugh (and/or shake my head). I’ll read posts from people who are using their fingers and connectivity as if it’s a steam valve and it happens right in the heat of the moment. As frustrated as I may be, as wrong as I think that someone is in certain instances, I apply one simple trick that (usually) staves off a tweet or post in the heat of the moment…
Create a draft first.
Write that tweet. Unload via a Blog post, but save it as a draft before hitting the "send" or "publish" button. Bruce Lee used to write and write and when he was done, he would set it all on fire. It was less about publishing or sharing his thoughts and much more about the critical thinking and/or brain dumping. I’ll often write drafts upon drafts – especially when it’s something that is making you mad. The technique is similar to counting to ten before blurting something out to the kids or a spouse, but the difference comes after the draft is saved. More often than not, you should burn it, delete it and forget it.
Knee jerk reactions tend to lead to moments of jerkiness more than anything else.