For the second time in as many weeks, two people lost their jobs due to scandals unleashed on Twitter.
In Detroit, the police superintendent resigned after a jilted lover Tweeted a picture of herself with a gun in her mouth; and in Virginia a substitute teacher (shown) was fired after a former student (and her alleged lover) posted her naked photos on Twitter.
These two people did not realize their fame until they became infamous.
Guess what? You’re famous too!
You Are Famous.
In your mind, you have privacy. You are a private citizen, with private sins, and you don’t have to worry about your indiscretions spilling all over the internet. You can do whomever you like without the embarrassment or inconvenience of national exposure.
In the name of service, I must warn you: You. Are. So. Wrong. You are famous, and you may be setting yourself up for infamy, which is what happens when fame turns on you. Let’s dissect the first half of my argument (you are famous) before we tackle the second (and you may be setting yourself up for infamy).
Fame occurs when people know more about you than you know about them.
If you have a Facebook account, with ten friends or more, you are famous.
If you have Twitter or Instagram accounts with ten followers or more, you are famous.
With your endless stream of personal pictures, updates, check-ins, ‘Likes’ and so on, you have enlightened your adoring fans or your faceless stalkers with every aspect of your being.
You may not truly respect the full measure of your fame; however, until part two of our discussion takes place:
You May Be Setting Yourself Up For Infamy.
Infamy by definition is “extremely bad reputation, public reproach, or strong condemnation as the result of a shameful, criminal, or outrageous act.”
You don’t want to become infamous, but you are a human being. In the heat of the moment, you may Tweet from your gut. It will feel good to say what you really mean, until you realize that what you really mean is not really meant for public consumption.
Surprise: one of your followers will re-tweet and capture a screen shot of your negative Tweet faster than you can remove what you’ve said. The more eager you are to suppress or delete your Tweet, the faster and further it will spread. You may never get a chance to soften the blow or the sting of inappropriateness that your controversial opinion will inspire.
In other words, once you put the negativity out there, you can’t reel it back in.
In the worst-case scenario someone else may make you infamous—so as a famous person, you must not contribute to your own downfall.
If you photograph an intimate encounter; or if you send racy text messages to someone other than your spouse, know that it becomes documented evidence that could be made public. And you will become infamous.
In fact, trolls make a name for themselves by ruining your reputation.
You are famous, so act accordingly and trust no-one with your precious words, feelings, or scandalous images.
Do nothing to contribute to your own digital downfall.