Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

How NOT To Be Social On Twitter
October 21, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Career Advice, Networking/Social Media

Ugh – some of the things that people do online I just do not understand. Things that absolutely would not be socially acceptable in real life. Just this past weekend, I was witness to one of the rudest ones I’ve seen to date…

I received a DM from an individual I shall call John, changing his name to protect the, um, anti-social. John apparently had recently been conducting a job search and had been using Twitter as a resource to do so. Good job! Twitter I believe is a great resource when you’re job hunting – it’s not the ONLY thing you should use, but I think there are definitely some benefits. Well, John got himself a new job – good for him! But his next action was pretty rude, from my viewpoint. I, along with several others I would imagine, received this DM from John:

“The purpose of this account has changed. I started a new job. As such, I have un-followed you and ask that you do the same. Thank you.”

As well, in the bio section of his profile –

“The purpose of this account has changed. I will be un-following job search related accounts and asking them by DM to do the same. Please see @<otheraccount>”

Translate to the real-life version and it would go something like this: John attends a networking event for job search professionals and makes friends with several people who offer to help him with his own job search. John eventually finds himself a job, and promptly calls over his new friends to inform them that as he has no further use for their friendship, would they please delete his number from their cell and forget they ever met him. Rude, no?

I realize that people have every right to use Twitter for whatever purpose they desire. All John apparently wanted to do with Twitter was use it to help him find a job, as evident in the number of tweets on his page and their subject. No problems there. But I believe in this particular situation John COMPLETELY  missed the concept of “social” media. There are several other things he could have done to be less abrupt, crass, rude, etc. He could have sent a DM saying something like “I’ve found a job! I’ll be tweeting from here on out at @<otheraccount>”, or he could have simply deleted the account and started over again. But his words were rather harsh and carried the message “now that I have no further use for you, be gone!” Not the idea of social media at all.

Use social media – yes. Use people – no.


9 Comments so far
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You’re right of course, but I can understand his concern especially if his new company is at all Social Media involved (This guy we just hired is connected to all these recruiters? he wants out already?). A better way to deal with it if it came up is to, you know, tell the truth 🙂 .

Comment by Jeremy Meyers

I’ve never had a position where a company asked me to “unfriend” (the premise of John’s DM IRL) a recruiter or anyone else for that matter. My network has colleagues, former employees, former bosses, and a host of other people in it. IF my company is concerned with who I network with, they might want to look at WHY they are concerned.

Rude is rude. And well, John needs lessons from Ms. Manners.

Comment by tlcolson

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This post was mentioned on Twitter by recruitmentjob: How NOT To Be Social On Twitter

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Wow that is unbelievable. I understand his thinking but that is the wrong way to go about it. I believe he lost on possible future friendships or other future opportunities.

Comment by Dustin

Seems like the same rules should apply in life and online. Just because you’re keeping to the 140 characters rule doesn’t mean you have to be without tact.

Great reminder for all of us!

Comment by Amy

Hopefully, “John” did NOT find a job in social media! …or in strategic planning.

Comment by Donna White

It’s interesting how much easier people find it to ignore common courtesy when they are not face to face. If he’s worried about his new company monitoring his social networking, he could have easily tweeted something like, “Happily I found a new position, stay tuned for tweets about my new job!”

Comment by Xenia

Besides the insensitivity of it all (which you clearly point out), isn’t just as well he stop following you? Kinda cleans up your Twitter pool of followers in a way? If no one finds me/my stream useful, I send them a mental “Happy Trails” and move on to folks who I can add value in some way (and want what I have to offer). No?

Comment by william

John will return. Sooner rather that later hewill be back on the market. How will you greet him?

Comment by gerry crispin

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