Friends Don’t Let Friends Tweet Drunk

The Twitter buzz buster

There are a few things you shouldn’t do after cracking open a cold one. Calling your ex would be number one but tweeting ranks a close second. Actually the more I think about it, calling your ex might be a safer bet than tweeting while under the influence…

Tweeting DrunkYou might think the reason I’m writing this post is because the holidays spurned a slew of spiked-eggnog-induced tweets, but it’s not. Actually, it’s something I witness over and over again in my stream – regardless of the time of year.

Tweet hammered, get slammered

Since first venturing onto social media, I’ve tried to be the same online as I am in person. As a travel writer, I knew how to build relationships over the phone and Internet chat forums (long before social media) and I’d experienced the collision of worlds firsthand. Not being able to recognize an editor because the picture he used in a bio was 20 pounds and 10 years out of date is awkward.

I use current picture and talk about what matters to me. Like a real life conversation, it’s about my family, my likes and dislikes and where I work. I’m quirky, have a loud, frequent laugh and I love red wine almost as much as I love my first coffee in the morning. And while I’ll wax poetic on my adoration of coffee and wine, when the wine comes out, Twitter gets put to bed.

Tweeting under the influence disables your internal editor – the one that clamps a lid on those inappropriate thoughts about your boss, your coworkers, your lazy, good-for-nothing-friend who wants to borrow ANOTHER 20 bucks…. Things you wouldn’t normally say come rushing out. Online. And once it’s out there, recalling it is impossible – especially if it’s juicy enough to retweet.

The problem with drinking and tweeting is … the morning after

There’s nothing I hate more on hangover days than that train roaring through my head. I’m religiously thankful for anything that will make it go away. The problem with tweeting while drunk is that there’s no magic pill to make the previous night’s escapades fade into the distance. What you say on Twitter can easily be copied onto any other social medium – where it lives in perpetuity.

But even worse than eternal Internet damnation might be the fact that your boss (or another victim of your hazy tweets) sees what you wrote. Sure, he might think social media is bunk, but that doesn’t mean that someone won’t show him your incriminating updates. Your twitter account is a fishbowl conversation – anything you say here can be seen by anyone.  You may have spent months or years building trust, but one tweet can make it all go away.

While no one dies tweeting drunk, like drunk driving, it’s just plain stupid. Check yourself before you wreck yourself…

You’re no punk, so don’t tweet drunk

It always amazes me when I see good, smart people tweet under the influence.  Especially entrepreneurs whose business depends on the ability to instill trust and confidence. I’ve seen friends and professional colleagues do it, people I’ve come to respect and admire and the result is always the same. If I need a service that they offer, they’re now last on my list to call. After all, if they can’t stay off twitter after a few drinks, what will happen if we experience a conflict in a business transaction?

Let me paint a clearer picture for you. Pretend you’re a caterer and I hire you for an important business party. After the party, you meet up with friends at the bar and you begin to regale adventures of my dinner party. What if one of my dinner guests told off-color jokes while you served? What if I hadn’t cleaned out the kitty litter? What if those stories are so funny to your in-person friends that you decide to share them on twitter – immortalizing the humor in a series of tweets.

Worst case scenario – Everyone knows who you’re talking about, including your followers, my followers and my guests. People lose jobs. I might lose business – both the dinner guests and future clients no longer trust me.

Best case scenario – No one knows who you’re talking about. Except me. We’re friends on Twitter and we’re now through because now I know how you really feel about me. I’ll work with someone else next time I need a caterer and I won’t send any future business your way.

It’s a pretty clear decision for me, but maybe it’s not for you. Maybe tweeting under the influence is a common occurrence in your life and you see no reason to change anything. I’d love to hear your thoughts on tweeting drunk and if you’ve ever done it. And if I follow you, we’ve never done business and you tweet drunk – now you know why.

Here’s what a few people on Twitter had to say about the issue:

@Neilhyndman – It’s amazing how many Followers one can add when they Drunk-Tweet… 😉

@azmomofmanyhats – I have actually unfollowed people that I could tell were drunk tweeting. Don’t really want to read what comes out of it.

@LexiKubrak – best convos happen that way. Also, you meet the best ppl when online and drunk

@CocktailDeeva – If you need to Observe this behaviour..come on over…lol

@JoeCascio – Not vindictive or crush-gush drunk-tweets but politically or socially controversial, usually around happy hour. 🙂 I don’t usually go way round-the-bend, but in retrospect, I wish I’d tempered a couple of them a bit. I wouldn’t take back what I was trying to express, just maybe the way I did it.

@Trina_Stewart – I have in the past tweeted drunk..they weren’t happy drunk comments so I deleted them. Like drinking and driving, doesn’t mix

@ScatteredMom – I don’t get drunk. So I’d never tweet that way. And I’ve been known to unfollow those who do. I’m not judging those who do but I don’t want it in my stream.

Looking forward to continuing the conversation on this!

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn – I’m always on. Except when I’m drinking…


9 Responses to “Friends Don’t Let Friends Tweet Drunk”

  1. marie says:

    I drunk tweet all the time. However, my Twitter account is a personal account…in no way is it tied to my career or even my real name. If it was, I’d probably reconsider. But as it is, I don’t see the harm in it. It gives me a good laugh the next day (sometimes longer!). I’m sure there are people out there that don’t like it, but my philosophy is this: if you don’t like what I have to say – drunk or not – there’s always the unfollow button.

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Thanks for stopping by to comment, Marie. Your commment proves that social media is different for everyone and what works for one, isn’t always right for another. Appreciate your taking the time to share how you navigate through this sometimes tricky path.

  2. Gwen says:

    Loved this, Julia! I can’t imagine facing “the morning after” if I were to mix red wine and tweeting! I can be sarcastic (which is part of being Canadian, eh) at the best of times…ADD red wine and I think I’m far funnier than I am…no, really. So, as you said…when the red wine comes out, Twitter gets put to bed. As much as I believe in transparency, sometimes you have to use common sense. You wouldn’t show up at a networking event drunk to the gills, would you? Perception is everything in business, both on and offline.

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Hi Gwen, thanks for the great comment – right on target. We all think we’re funnier than we are after a few glasses – but being being butt of the joke the morning after….not so funny!

  3. mike says:

    My rule is 3rd glass of wine equals the shutting down of laptop and i-pad. Then comes the decision of what is more important, an that varies from night to night. The phone is always by my side, I can always blame auto-correct instead of the wine if I have regrets in the A.M. 🙂 Thanks Julia

  4. Leigh says:

    Great post Julia – I couldn’t agree more. The other thing I think people should be careful of is having automatic feeds sent to LinkedIn from Twitter. Unless you are Tweeting business tweets only it looks funny seeing non business stuff come through the feeds on LinkedIn. Just my two cents!

    • Julia Rosien says:

      Agreed, Leigh. Twitter and LinkedIn are two very different conversations and it’s not appropriate to channel one through the other. Using the same content – sometimes yes. But not always. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. Thank goodness I rarely drink, because if I tweeted drunk, I probably would loose followers. Unless the drunk tweeter is exceptionally rude or such, I just ignore the tweets, not a biggy in my book.

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