When I worked for a presidential campaign, way back before social media even existed, we were keenly aware that, as staffers, we represented the candidate at all times. Period. Thus, we were advised to consider what our field director, Tom, called “The New York Times Test”:
Before you do or say anything, consider: would you want those words and/or actions splashed across the front page of The New York Times?
I’ve been thinking about Tom’s advice lately in light of a recent uptick in talk about grad students and social media. How we should use it. What we should say. What we shouldn’t mention. Its benefits and its dangers, huzzah. (See Karra’s recent take on it here, for example).
But perhaps it’s less an uptick and more a renewed sensitivity, because it’s been an issue very much on my mind of late.