Social Media is a relentless taskmaster. Once you begin participating in a social media marketing or thought leadership effort, it is hard to stop posting -- even for a moment. It is a cognitive treadmill with no obvious stop button. At least, that’s what so many have been told.
However, sometimes we must pause to regain control -- to buy time to think, to write with quality and assess the impact of what we have to say -- before we actually say it. There are certainly plenty of examples where someone should have stopped to think before sending. Recently a couple of public figures made serious errors when using social media: BP’s CEO Tony Hayward decrying on twitter that he too is tired of the oil spill problem and wants his life back and Sarah Palin’s Facebook blowout blaming environmentalists’ demands for safe offshore drilling as the root of the oil spill crisis. Perhaps Palin’s comments, while misguided at best, do give us, the reader, a deeper insight into her true point of view. However, each made a significant mistake; damaging stock prices and investor relations and taking serious heat in the media, each with a single keystroke. While they gave us some deeper insights into their points of view, we have to wonder: why did they do it?