I understand things are tough in Detroit. The American automobile industry is in a world of hurt, and it’s the cornerstone of The aptly-nicknamed Motor City’s economy. But what was a careless Chrysler employee thinking when s/he dropped an F-bomb out in public on Chrysler’s Twitter account?

The question kind of answers itself, right? This person was careless, and not thinking at all. There’s simply no reason to use bad language in print, on line, while being recorded, or anywhere there could be a record of your words that comes back to haunt you later.

Goldman Sachs learned this lesson. I don’t know what the overpaid employees at that fine company have to swear about, but swear they do, in e-mails. Dumb.

Students at Rowan University (and others, of course, but my personal experience with putting embarrassing stuff in public came when the Athletic Director at Rowan told me a story a few years ago at a parent orientation) understand the issue. At Rowan, having bad stuff in your social networking profiles will keep you off athletic teams and keep you from getting hired for on-campus jobs.

It should be obvious by now, shouldn’t it? Your behavior matters.

I almost hesitate to talk about this in terms of business change. Shouldn’t “keep a civil tongue in your head” be business as usual? Isn’t it? But it’s here, and simply being careless has cost at least one person a job this week. So let’s bring it back to social networking.

Social Networking matters. I’ve told you a few times how important social networking is to your business growth, and it’s getting a bit more important every day.

And as anyone who knows me know about me, I swear in casual conversation. Plenty. But I don’t text using blue language, I don’t write using blue language, and you can gash-darned believe me when i tell you that when I speak in public, I keep things squeaky clean. Take a look at me doing this interview about Search Engine Optimization. Golly!

I’m always a little shocked when I see people swearing on their Twitter accounts. Even Julien Smith, a guy whose business sense is spot-on, does this.  I imagine that if you think you’re being open and warm, there’s at least a reason for doing it.

But you don’t need to.

Do your social networking. Change your business. And keep it clean. Because you can.

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