Governor's staff shake-up serves as a reminder to Internet etiquette

By Karrie Leggett - bio | email

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -   We all have heard our parents warn, "If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all!"

In this age of instantaneous communication parents should also add, "If you can't text, type or send anything nice, don't send anything at all!"

A lack of caution can be detrimental.

For the governor's press secretary , Dan Turner, it was a joke made about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan emailed to staff, which lead to his resignation.

Among other e-mails, Turner wrote, ''Otis Redding posthumously received a gold record for his single, ' (Sittin' on)  The Dock of the Bay.' ( Not a big hit in Japan right now.) ."

The joke was a part of Turner's daily e-mails. After they were circulated around Barbour's government office it was somehow sent to a blogger, who then published an article about the Turner and the jokes.

Barbour accepted Turner's resignation Monday.

Lisa Parker, Marketing Specialist at Southern Miss says since the boom of social media many people find themselves in lackluster situations because of what they send or put in a status bar.

"Everything that goes online stays online. Even if you delete it it's still there. You can post a picture, and even if you delete it could come up in Google," said Parker.

Parker says the target audience who may find themselves in these situation are those who are about to cross the threshold into the work force.

"They can look very professional on a resume, but on Facebook it is a different story. They are going to see who is going to be representing their company outside of the office," said Parker.

Those who are already inside the office can have social media hiccups too.

"You are representing your office, your company , your organization. Inside and outside the office. Even after hours. So, when people read your tweets and your updates if they have a negative vide to them, they are going to get a negative idea about your company," said Parker.

Bottom line....Parker says it comes down to proper etiquette.

"Focus on social media etiquette. Make sure things are spelled right in your tweets and status updates. Use correct grammar to make sure you are portraying a professional and very mature image. Make sure that you post appropriate pictures, and nothing that will come back to haunt you later on," said Parker.