THE BLOG

Skeletons in Your Twitter Closet Could Come Back to Haunt You

24/03/2014 11:57 GMT | Updated 21/05/2014 10:59 BST

There's something about the very first time of doing anything that brings about a compulsive need to cut it out, lock it in a box and dig it out years later over a glass of wine when you're feeling nostalgic.

My mother was always a huge advocate for this, keeping our very first locks of hair and teeth concealed in minuscule envelopes stuck in a leather-bound tome. 'My very first year' - Verity's edition - has been dug out once in my whole life. All I learnt was that I had hair when I was a baby, and it was brown, quite fine and decidedly uninspiring. As for my first tooth? That was just a little gross, frankly.

However, I am absolutely loving what Twitter has done for its eight birthday, which falls today. Discover your first tweet? That is something I would like to see.

"What do you reckon happens if you go onto Google and just click "I'm feeling lucky"..."

One word - #cringe. Evidently, I thought I was big, clever and very funny. Looking back, I realise that I was none of those things.

However, looking at what some celebrities launched themselves into the Twittersphere with has been extremely enlightening and made me feel a little better about my abominable Twitter entrance.

I'm not sure Wayne Rooney quite got the difference between tweeting and texting when he posted: 'Hi rio do u want picking up in the morning pal'.

50 Cent appeared to get confused between a Facebook status and a tweet, sharing little more than "is in Turkey" with the rest of the world. #Snore.

Even Ellen DeGeneres appeared to be a bit of rookie, with: "Tis my first twitt-er. Or tweet? Twit? Or tweet? "Twit or tweet everybody." Is this anything?" Suffice to say, she has now mastered the social networking site, securing the most retweeted picture of all time at this year's Oscars.

Nevertheless, I feel this first tweet tool has highlighted two key messages when it comes to engaging with our beloved world wide web.

Firstly, it has emphasised the importance of clueing the hell up before engaging with these sites. After all, don't you want to go in with a bang and make an entrance for all the right reasons? Mixing up tweeting, texting, pinning, posting, what's private and what's public is just asking for trouble.

Secondly, it has served as a stark reminder that those words of which we have seldom thought since naively taking to the keyboard all those years ago are very much still there. I wince at the thought of what other embarrassing one-liners I decided I would share with the world.

Thankfully, I know I had enough online nouse to do little more than damage what little street cred I may have had with a few painfully unfunny lines. But what about people who may have shared more than they should have, long before they received that promotion back when they thought boardrooms were reserved for [insert expletive] and decided to tweet their feelings?

Could you have skeletons lurking in your online closet? Because this tool has reminded all of us that they're very much still there, being talked about and liable to crop up again.

Going back to my mother, I spent most of my childhood being told that if I had nothing nice to say, then not to say anything at all. When it comes to Twitter, I couldn't agree more.