As the social media specialist for MFX, I spend most of my day interacting with people online and also examining other people’s interactions with each other on the web. You can likely guess, that because of this ‘medium submersion’, I have witnessed both the best and the worst of social media. Many of the best practices are up for debate and change depending on the industry. However, there is one truth that everyone should follow: your social media accounts are a reflection of you (or your company) and WILL affect your ‘real-world’ life.

In the past few weeks, especially, I became increasingly annoyed having found people attempting to lead social media “double lives”. Their accounts were public, their names were listed, their picture was even posted, and yet they were posting content and opinions that they would never dare to say in public or in a face-to-face conversation.

People become more brazen on the Internet—when you can’t see the person’s face or reaction, its easy to be bold. This is especially true when it comes to posting rude, mean and inappropriate comments about others.

My aggravation reached a new high last Wednesday. In a moment of frustration, I grabbed my phone and tweeted: “If you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying it into a megaphone at a crowded mall, then you shouldn’t post it on social media. #therules.”

Having vented, I continued on with my day. A few hours later, I noticed an overwhelming amount of interactions coming in on my Twitter account. Confused, I scrolled down to find that the Fast Company Twitter account had retweeted me!

The tweet became an example of its own message. My tweet was now being broadcast to their 500 000 followers along with my name and picture. After 24 hours, my tweet had 241 retweets and had been favourited 49 times. Over the next few days, it reached 462 retweets and 108 favourites. These numbers continue to grow, and my tweet has now been translated into Spanish, Swedish and Slovak. I AM on the megaphone…and proud of it.

Many people commented that they agreed, and some even thanked me for this illustration. I also received a lot of criticism from ones stating it isn’t a good comparison, social media isn’t a “big deal”, and no one would be comfortable saying anything into a megaphone anyhow.

I’m not bothered by the criticism because I want that message to be associated with me and can confidently stand behind it. Ironically, these ones just further prove the message that they are criticizing. Because of something that I posted on social media, strangers from all over the world were picking fights—with me. ,

But that is the power of social media—the power to reach people like never before. This was a great experience and opportunity for me because it spread a message in which I strongly believe, to thousands of people— an accomplishment that I would never have been able to do had I not had the ‘power of social media’.

Here is the tweet.