Ted Bishop: The Latest 140 Character Casualty

By now, most of you have learned of Ex-PGA President Ted Bishop’s dismissal for making sexist remarks while criticizing Ian Poulter on Twitter.  Countless celebrity types have quit social media for the same reason and there’s a lesson to be learned:  You need to keep it positive and clean when using social media.  It’s astounding that so many folks do damage to their reputations, lose jobs, and feel forced to disengage because they cannot filter their brains before firing off a 140 character vent.

Putting this in perspective, look at Bishop.  As of this writing, he had 4,246 Twitter followers.  Twitter purports to have 271 million active users world wide.  Let’s assume 200 million are real, so the math still indicates that 99.99% of Twitter users don’t care what Bishop thinks about or has to say.  Bishop is not a celebrity but a well known individual, and yet he managed to get himself fired based on a random thought consumed by one of the 00.01% of worldwide users who cared to follow him.  The thought is sobering.  It’s not about the content of his comments (many of us have thought and expressed much worse in private), but how such a person of prominence could get himself dismissed for a relatively innocuous muttering.  If he’d have made it in private, there would be no issue.  If he’d have called Poulter and had it out directly, again no issue, but put it out in public with no context, and the damage was done.

Those of us who use Twitter, Facebook, and various blogging tools like this one should be careful.  You may think you’re relatively unknown, but the wrong post can do damage.  Personally, as a user of all three tools, I prefer to blog because your thoughts can be explained in depth and with greater context.  It’s also a forum for folks to respond/rebut, and as an author, you can moderate the conversation.  So whatever tool you use, be mindful to keep it clean and stay civil.

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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2 Responses to Ted Bishop: The Latest 140 Character Casualty

  1. Brian,

    Great perspective on social media use. Some people definitely underestimate the consequences of an untimely or poorly thought out tweet or post can have. Particularly those people who have a brand to protect.

    Cheers
    Josh

    • Brian Penn says:

      Yeah Josh, I try to keep the spontaneous combustion thoughts comments inside my head and off social media. I understand the draw and the ease of the ability to vent through those channels. It can be a problem for sure. Thanks!

      Brian

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