Log on to Facebook and you probably also simultaneously heard of Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, in addition to scrolling through your tagged pictures from Friday night.
Forgot your class assignment? Just send a friend request to the girl who sits two rows ahead of you, and she’ll likely give you the answer in a few minutes’ time.
Clearly, exploding social network sites provide an advantage to almost anyone who uses them.
But these same sites have negative implications, too. Twitter and Facebook are now used to incriminate public figures like never before. Just ask Andre Agassi, tennis legend. In a recent tweet that has now been removed from his Twitter page, a Sports Illustrated employee released a tidbit from Agassi’s new novel, “Open”. The tweet read: “@richarddeitsch: Book excerpt from Andre Agassi in the forthcoming SI: He admits to taking crystal meth during his career.”
This was the first public recognition of crystal meth addiction for Agassi. Other publications latched on to this tweet even after it was deleted, and hours later, an Australian Web site released an exclusive series of material, also from the book. He also admitted to his meth use in an interview with People magazine shortly after the SI tweet.
The increasing popularity of Twitter posts isn’t a new phenomenon. The Telegraph, a UK newspaper, recently reported that traffic to Twitter has increased “27-fold”. Other experts suggest that the Web site gains more than 10,000 users daily. But that doesn’t mean Twitter is free from scandal.
Because of the compromise of professionalism and lifestyle Twitter poses for individuals like Agassi, experts have created a list of Twitter etiquette tips.
But are guidelines imposing on a (free) social media forum? Should celebrities, public officials, and journalists be allowed to tweet their personal life without it reflecting negatively on their careers? What do you think? Should status updates even be considered real news?