We've all heard it before: be careful what you put on public/social websites/networks, because people will read it, and they will judge you. And it's true.
Yesterday, I unfollowed someone on Twitter because I literally said to myself, "Oh, yuck" while reading a heated exchange this author was having with another person. The author I unfollowed basically didn't agree with a random, not-directed-at-anyone-in-particular comment someone else said (it was quite innocent, if you ask me), and in an attempt to defend herself, the author ended up sounding like an arrogant b*tch (if I'm being honest). Then, when the other person tried to apologize for unintentionally "offending" her, the author made some passive-aggressive rude comments that made me cringe.
I couldn't believe how this author was acting. I'm all for being yourself and standing up for what you believe in, but this was such a stupid comment to get all bent out of shape about. ESPECIALLY in a public forum, and ESPECIALLY when you're a published author trying to sell your book to the masses.
Okay, (*takes a deep, calming breath*) for argument's sake, let's say the comment was something the author felt strongly about (for whatever reason). If that was the case, she should've sent the person a DM, or at the very least, discussed it LIKE AN ADULT.
Personally, I always view social networking sights the same way I do a family reunion--full of people I don't know very well and might not even want to get to know, but people I'm still going to be respectful and civil to. They might say things I don't agree with, but I'm just going to do the polite nod-and-smile thing or maybe even walk away. If they do happen to say something I highly disagree with, I might voice my opinion, but I'm not going to verbally attack them or get all back-alley-bitch on them. Why? Because I care what people think of me. I know, I know . . . We're raised with the attitude that we shouldn't care what other people think about us, but let's face it, if you're on that long and winding road to publishing, you better care. Agent, editors, readers/potential readers are going to search for you online at one time or another, and if you come across as a jerk, it's very likely they're not going to want anything to do with you.
To sum it all up, just always make sure you're putting yourself in the best light possible, while still being yourself. If you don't, you might cost yourself some amazing opportunities. I mean, seriously, is it really worth it?