Your Mother Would Be Ashamed You Said That

Your mom would be ashamed at what you said on Twitter during the election. In fact, if she was like my mom, she’d probably wash your mouth out with soapy water. Welcome to the third in my series of election posts about my experiences with Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign.

A lot has been written about the tone of people’s tweets and the fact many seem to feel they can say anything here without regard to others but I found the examples our group faced during the fall election cycle truly appalling. Some choice examples:

  • “Lisa Murkowski said she regrets promising to honor the outcome of the Primary Election…I just regret that she was born.”

  • “Legal does not equal right. Murkowski was wrong. She’s running counter to the democratic tradition and she’s an ass for it. “

  • “Lisa Murkowski ought to be ashamed of herself. So childish.”

  • “I’m trying to decide who I hate, loathe, and despise more: Barbara Boxer or Lisa Murkowski.”

  • “Murkowski needs to shut her effing trap.”

There are those who may think this is okay but it seems to me that if this isn’t something you would say out loud and in public, it probably shouldn’t be said on Twitter or Facebook. And, if it is something you would say out loud and in public, maybe it’s time to think about how you interact with others.

It’s really pretty simple:Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you.

I just have to wonder how the writers of these tweets would feel if someone spoke to them in this manner. As communicators, we have an extra obligation to make sure the words we put out are true. However, it shouldn’t just be communicators who are trying to maintain civil discourse.

Only through listening, respecting each other and working together will we solve the problems in our country and world. Only by caring about each other will we make the sacrifices we need to make in order to move forward and help others. Only by treating each other with the love, trust and compassion we expect from others will we build a better world for our young people.

So the next time you’re ready to launch off on a social network about someone else, take pause. It will likely save everyone embarrassment.

  • Type the message and walk away.

  • Come back in an hour.

  • Only then hit the send button.

You probably won’t send messages like this:

  • “Ladies and gentlemen, this woman is a snake.//insulting 2 snakes!”

  • “Lisa Murkowski is an entitled sow.”

  • “Really? That many people in Alaska can spell Murkowski?”

  • “To the Murkowski person who just called my house and said my vote for McAdams was a vote for Miller. SUCK IT!”

  • “Lisa Murkowski = the biggest idiot in the world. It is funny bc she lacks “intellectual curiosity” more than anyone. She’s jealous of Palin.”

As mentioned in part two of the series, my responsibility on the campaign included monitoring what others were saying in social media. It was interesting to watch those who disagreed with the majority of Alaskans and didn’t understand our state, trying to tell us what to do. Most mornings we reviewed social media, then discussed the campaign’s messages of the day with the communication team and then returned to another look at social media. A full evaluation through the lens of our strategy oftentimes meant not directly addressing the “antis” on social media.

What we found was most of the messages were originating from a relatively small group of individuals who were not aware of Alaska politics. While they did reach a few in Alaska, the majority of the messages did not have the capacity to affect our campaign. Obviously, we had to carefully and diligently monitor social media to make sure this remained true. As the final votes are counted this week, we’re fairly confident in our strategy. Time is of the essence in social media but sometimes it can be your friend as well.

How do you keep your cool on social media? Check your facts? Address inaccurate messages? Let’s all try to make sure our moms are still proud of all we do.

Earlier: This Election Was Personal For Me

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Coming next: A Look at Strategy and Tactics…Sticking to the Message

The Barber Group

Gig Harbor, Washington


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