02 August 2012
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Q. What are the risks involved in using Twitter?

A. The ICGP has a Twitter account and you can follow the ICGP on Twitter, see http://twitter.com/icgpnews. Twitter is a useful tool in a business or marketing environment. I think it should be avoided as a personal communications tool. It seems to land people in so much trouble because:

  • It thrives best with quick comments, so the temptation is to fire off what you are thinking just now, without the time interval necessary for your self-control to kick in and ask you if this is a good idea
  • It is a public social network, so it's not like you are talking to a few friends or followers. Anyone can re-tweet what you have posted and if it is controversial or nasty enough it can go global in the space of a few hours.
  • You can't take it back, once you launch that tweet the milk is spilt
  • It's only 140 characters, so there is no way to indicate the effect associated with the tweet. Is this a joke? Is it satirical? Are you angry or sad or happy or confused?

So, unless you have a communications manager it is best to avoid using Twitter. If you do use it, then consider waiting a couple of hours between when you create and tweet your wisdom to the world (harmless sarcasm, not directed at any individual person [55 characters]).

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