It’s an Eggshell World

We’ve always cautioned clients and others to be careful with their social media. But from what we’ve seen in the past few months, it has become truly perilous to put out anything but the most innocuous of messages.

That is, unless you want the wrath of hair-trigger, ready-to-foam-at-the-mouth, offended-by-virtually-anything Twitter or Instagram or Facebook users, ready to call down the Big Tech gods upon you to get you cancelled, kicked off the app, or worse.

We hope that everyone by now is smart enough to realize that it isn’t in their or their business’ interest to say something legitimately offensive. That used to be a reasonably well understood standard, but not anymore. There appears to be someone, or groups of someones, who find reasons to be offended at almost anything they encounter on social media.

Seems like a pretty unhappy way of looking at life, but maybe that’s all they have.

Anyway, forget about saying something political. That was never that great an idea anyway, since so many people are so politically driven today that you will always alienate a segment of your audience (customers, potential customers, interested followers) with most anything you say.

But now, even if you try to say the correct things for the correct political slant, you may end up with an insufficiently “woke” comment that brings down the wrath of the Social Media Furies upon you and your company.

So politics is out. How about funny commentary? Well, a few people may still have a sense of humor left, but not many. You might get away with it if you poke fun at yourself, or offer up light commentary that shows you don’t take yourself so seriously. But it’s still risky. Be warned.

What’s left – in this world in which you must now walk on the most fragile of eggshells – is generic, plain-vanilla postings. You have a new product or service. You are sponsoring a special event, or maybe you want to promote a special sale or offer.

Whatever you say or show, before you post it, think seriously about it and look at it like this: Is there anything in your post that someone, anyone, could find offensive? We’re not talking about what a “normal” person would be offended at, rather someone with a grudge against the world whose attacks on innocent posters appear to give them the only pleasure they have in their day.

It’s truly sad that we have to think like this, when it wasn’t all that long ago that social media seemed like a fun place. But when it’s your reputation or that of your business at stake, you really can’t be too cautious.