Today on the Sonrise Morning Show with Brian Patrick, we will be discussing the recent turn of events with Representative Anthony Weiner and what those of us who use Twitter on a daily basis can learn from unseemly events like this one. As we watch the situation unfold over the next few days, I took away the following points from a very respectful online discussion (held, of course, on Twitter and Facebook) with my friends and contacts last night:
Anonymity online doesn’t really exist. Do not post anything online that you wouldn’t want God, your parents, your pastor or your future employer or spouse to see. Any one of your friends or contacts online can print or inappropriately share the information you convey to them. Your communications online should be above reproach.
Impulse Control. In today’s world, we need more than ever to practice control and self discipline. While our first reaction these days may be to share everything, it’s good to hold most things back and actively practice privacy and self control.
Don’t Lie. If you’ve messed up, adding deceit and dishonesty will only make matters worse. If you fail, and we all will, honestly admit and seek immediate forgiveness for your sins.
Avoid all inappropriate relations online. “Flirting” can easily devolve into inappropriate relationships or even infidelity. Keep your online communications and friendships above reproach.
Thou shalt not steal. Misuse of an employers’ cell phone, computer or time you should be working is theft.
Find help if you need it. If you’ve fallen into an addictive relationship with social networking or the Internet in general that is impacting upon your healthy ability to function in life, in work and in your relationships, now is the time to seek help. Contact your parish for local twelve step programs or confidentially email me and I will help you find resources in your area.