Category Archives: branding

When Social Media Goes Horribly Wrong


On Monday, June 6, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admitted to sending a lewd picture of himself to a woman in Seattle, and of engaging in similar virtual trysts over a three-year period with other women. Via TPM.

By now most of us have heard about the Anthony Weiner political scandal, yet another person to prove to the public he is incredibly human and stupid. The landscape is littered with politician’s who have made less then wise choices in their private lives. What distinguishes this particular scandal is that happened primarily through social media. Here is a link  for the Anthony Weiner timeline.

May 27: A photograph showing a man’s crotch is sent to a young woman from the Twitter account of Anthony Weiner. It is quickly deleted and in a subsequent tweet Mr Weiner jokes: “Tivo shot. FB hacked. Is my blender gonna attack me next? #TheToasterIsVeryLoyal.”

First things first, Anthony Weiner seemed to forget that social media is SOCIAL and therefore what you post, who you follow and what you say in public and privately are, in essence, available for all to see. It seems, from many accounts, that Rep. Weiner hit the wrong button and sent out a private message to the public. He took it down almost immediately, but it was already too late. It was viewed, and copied by someone who had watched the representative’s account, from there things go downhill quickly.

Despite the implications of telling the truth, it would have served Mr. Weiner well to come clean about what had happened. Instead he used his Twitter account to solicit sympathy from his followers that he had been hacked and was the victim of Andrew Breitbart. Given Breitbart’s history of slicing and dicing videos it was easy for his followers to side with the representative and support him. At this point, Weiner, not only betrays his wife, constituents, but the trust of those who followed him on social media, bringing everyone into his own web of deception and denial of the facts.

The discussion of the morals of our politicians is best left to other writers. Anthony Weiner is not the worst of the lot of political betrayers. He is the first to be uncovered, who used social media in ways that proved to be a bit unsavory. I am sure he will not be the last. Right now accounts are being cleaned and scrubbed, while other people are laughing thinking they could not be discovered.

This becomes a cautionary tale of how our private and public lives are colliding in new and profound ways. Transparency is a great concept, but if you are not ready to reveal your peccadilloes to a eager audience, then think twice or three times how you are using social media. Whether right or wrong our Facebook and Twitter profiles are being viewed, and we are being judged by the contents. Personally, I think if you want to drink like a sailor after hours, that is your business, and the occasional shot of you in a stupor should not invalidate your good work. I would refrain from sending the naked private parts shots to your beloved. As we have now learned pressing the wrong button could be a career killer.

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Who are you?

Sandra Lee Schubert has been always been a storyteller. At nine she created her first family newsletter that told the horrifying tale of a giant pizza that attacked New York. Luckily the Empire State building saved the day once again by stopping the wayward pizza in its track. OK, it took days to clean up the cheese but who cared; New York City was safe again.

My father entertained my sister and I each night by telling us stories. There was Tommy Salami who lived in a milk bottle in his mother’s kitchen, Susie was his friend and as I remember Tommy was found by a tugboat captain on a stick floating in the East River. Later I on went on to tell stories to my nieces and nephew. What impressed me was how the gift of storytelling could be passed on generation to generation.  This gift of storytelling is not limited to a select few; we are all storytellers, each share our own unique story to the people in our immediate circle and the world. Each day we put on a set of clothes and the story of who we are. Today I am a busy executive, tonight I am the weary salesgirl, tomorrow I am the athlete preparing for a run. Who are  you? Are you really telling the story of who you are?

Each day we can focus on an aspect of our lives and tell that story to the world. In this new world of social media we see people in all states of storytelling. We reveal aspects of ourselves with each post, a status update, a tweet sent in a fit of anger. But more then ever it is time to take back control of the story we are telling. Who are you?

My path is about storytelling. It has been a path of giving permission to tell their stories. I created an ecourse on writing your life story. I created a writing program encouraging writers to write.  I created a radio show to hear the stories others have to tell. I now embrace that my good work is to give voice to others.

On March 1, 2011 I spoke to Michael Margolis of Get Storied who is on a Mission to Democratize Storytelling. I encourage you to visit his site. He encouraged me to rewrite my bio- the first paragraph is above. The story I had been telling was dry and boring. Instead I decided to break out and back to who I am. I am a storyteller, a trickster, I am funny and irreverent. I am also serious and hardworking and committed to YOU spreading the word of who you are through a variety of mediums. Listen to what Michael has to say here. Click here to listen…

Who are You? Let me know. Comment below. I want to know who you are.

Here is the link to my writing course – Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own.

I use Audio Acrobat to share my stories. << this is an affiliate link.

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