Now that Anthony Weiner has resigned, perhaps the national media can turn to news that really matters, like a crazy preacher giving away a waterproof Bible in conjunction with an NCAA Tournament bracket contest.
Seriously, I understand why this sort of news sells. It’s kind of fun to watch political scandals unfold. The scene is predictable but captivating: A political figure/party boots the ball around the infield and the opposing party sits in the dugout gleefully humming carnival music. Unfortunately for the party in the dugout, they too end up having to take the field at some point.
In an attempt to reduce the number of Twitter-related scandals, we at The Frontier at Grace would like to offer today a short, three-lesson tutorial on Twitter.
Lesson one: Don’t send a public message on Twitter when you mean to send a direct message. A former colleague of mine at Goldman Sachs made an equivalent error that might illustrate Weiner’s gaffe for the non-tweeters amongst us. My colleague was one of thousands of recipients of a blast email sent by a friend of his. Meaning to hit “Reply,” my colleague hit “Reply to All,” and what followed was a not-so-above-board quip that made a first impression on thousands of new acquaintances. Not a career-enhancing move.
Lesson two: Be careful what you send on Twitter, and to whom you send it. Combining Twitter, pictures, and women who are not your spouse is almost always double-plus ungood. You’re probably not going to do yourself any favors even by tweeting pictures of your biceps to your wife. If you’re really as swolled up as you think you are, she probably knows it already, dude.
Lesson three: Some Twitter problems are not just Twitter problems. My friend John said it best: In the end, it wasn’t technology that “got” Weiner, it was his heart that “got” him. Twitter didn’t cause this problem; Twitter just served as a king-sized megaphone (do kings use megaphones?) that shouted something Weiner wanted to keep secret. Jesus was right: “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matt. 12:34 NASB). Sometimes the mouth speaks way louder than we would like.
You’ve probably been watching Congressman Weiner’s situation. What is your take on it?
—Beau StanleyFollow @beaustanley