In Shame Nation one of the trends we noticed was even the brightest and smartest (academically) can make the stupidest decisions when it comes to digital etiquette. While we have a chapter on, “I Can’t Believe They Posted That” we also will give you a chapter on, “Digital Wisdom Is Digital Survival.”

My humble opinion has always been to stay clear of politics and religion online. In a recent survey, Civility in America, 59% of Americans have eliminated politics from their conversations all together (offline and online) to elevate negativity from their life. No matter what side of the political field you are on, it’s clear we experiencing discourse in this topic, especially online.  Personally, I’ve witnessed people losing friends and the cruelest of comments, profanity and memes coming down my feeds. Although I haven’t unfriended anyone, I have un-followed people because of it. As a reminder, these are adults that simply can’t control their emotions.  It’s okay to be passionate – but learn to be constructive.

Some people crave the internet limelight — and it seemed Kevin Allred was one of them. As a professor, you would think he would know better than to tweet out controversial comments about his opinions on the president – especially when it comes to wishing his dead. We remember what happened when Kathy Griffin, a celebrity, aligned the POTUS with bloody heads? Her career is still on hiatus.

It seems after Allred was relieved from a position at Rutgers University for similar behavior, he didn’t learn anything since with this recent tweet rant, it cost him his next job which he was fired from before he even started. I would say Mr. Allred needs some digital literacy classes. Does he crave internet infamy over his own financial livelihood? Could he be that insensitive to what is appropriate to post online?

Free speech doesn’t condone violence or hate speech. Especially if you are a teacher or educator, what example are you setting for your students?

Lessons from this story is also the fact that these universities likely had social media policies in place, like many schools and workplaces do today. According to one survey, 80% of workplaces have social media policies in effect and 51% will reprimand or fire employees for violating them.

Post with care.