Though I am an advocate of expressing opinions and advocating for position, I am also mindful of the damage that can be done, albeit unwittingly, through the written word. Bright, passionate business students who are eager to make their mark in the world have difficulty understanding why I caution them about what they put in writing...to whom...and when.
The temptation to use quick and easy communication tools has landed more than one high profile person in the hot water of public outcry. Recently, CNN's Middle East editor lost her job due to a tweet. Though she later explained articulately and fully what she did--and, more importantly, did not--mean by the short tweet, the damage to her reputation was done.
"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" is often attributed to Abraham Maslow. I heard it countless times in graduate school as explanation for why we needed more than one theory to account for human behavior. And, as a dear friend reminds me, New and Improved! is usually neither--the advice that served me well in the pre-Facebook, pre-blog, pre-Twitter, pre-internet days has stood the test of time.
Having a cool tool makes it oh-so-easy (and tempting) to use it when you shouldn't. And, for better or for worse, the communication device is (still) mightier than the metal weapon.