NOW THAT'S FUNNY
Are you following Roland Martin on Twitter? I wasn’t … but I am now!
Mr. Martin, a commentator for CNN, has been suspended by that network for controversial tweets that he made on his own personal time during the Super Bowl. He used some pretty zesty language to make fun of soccer players, or gays, or the color pink, depending upon how you read his comments. He made good use of hash tags, too, like #rolandsrules and #teamwhipdatass. Hash tags are the mark of a true and seasoned Tweeter. I’m not a great at hash tags, but I’m gratified to know there’s one called #teamwhipdatass.
Mr. Martin’s job is to offer opinions on the issues of the day. For this he gets a paycheck. But when he offered other opinions that CNN didn’t like, he got suspended.
He should not be surprised by this. When you can’t tell the difference between a comment that is funny in your living room with your friends, and a comment that is going to be sent out to the entire English speaking world, and then get back to your boss, you may need to learn about #shutdatmouth.
Your boss does not have a sense of humor. Sure, he acts like he does. He chortles amiably enough during meetings or while waiting for the elevator. Perhaps you’ve even shared an off-color joke about a group of people you both have contempt for … say … Republicans, or Tree Huggers, or Biggest Loser fans. He laughed at that joke because no one else was listening. If someone was listening, he would have looked at you, stone-faced, to let you know that was NOT funny. #notatwork.
With Twitter, everyone is listening. Do you know you can follow anyone on Twitter? Although I don’t follow them all the time, I have checked in with Steve Martin or Jerry Seinfeld occasionally. They can be funny. They can also be dull, because they’re being careful. #everyonecanhear.
The point is, when you tweet, you are talking to people you don’t even know. And they can talk back. You can read the whole Twitter exchange, between Mr. Martin and some followers who returned his tweets.