It was a move that had social media managers all over the globe join in a collective wince, and has also been referred to as the most "epic corporate media" screwup in the history of "ever". U.S. Airways sent out a random tweet to their 450,000 followers with a picture attached that no company ever wants randomly attached to a corporate branding message. Within reportedly fifteen minutes, the offending tweet, picture, and likely the U.S. Airways employee responsible were removed. What followed was the standard apology required by a corporate giant after a public relations disaster of this proportion. But the damage had already been done. Fifteen minutes of fame that nobody ever wants to tell their grandchildren.
The history of "ever" for social media is not all that long, but we have become a society where some people consider 5 minutes between text messages to be "inconsiderate". Facebook is the "oldest" social media giant, having been around since all of 2004. It wasn't until 2006 when Twitter became "the thing" and its history is certainly woven with the fabric of scandal. Remember the unfortunately named Weiner Scandal? 2006 is lifetimes ago in the Twitter world, though. So to be referred to as the most epic mistake ever in the 8 dog years of Twitter is saying something. And that tweeted opinion has not been argued with yet. Salon reported on the incident saying that "when your best case scenario is you were attacked by Heartbleed, you're having a really bad day".
It was an incident that coined a trending keyword as well. Unfortunately, the term "U.S. Airways Tweet" is going to have a lot of people wincing for a little while. And it's not just the social media managers of the world that are wincing over this one. What about the girl? Is, "Our bad @ellerafter really enough?
Who wants to be the girl that has some explaining to do after Papa logins to U.S. Airways one day so he can book the family summer vacation? Nobody wants to be that girl.
To sext or not to sext? The U.S. Airways tweet may not answer the entire question, but it certainly presents some compelling evidence for Team No.
Team Yes says, yes, but don't be stupid. Patti Stanger, Founder and CEO of The Millionaire's Club and Bravo TV's "Millionaire Matchmaker" says, "Sexting isn't all bad, and if you're into this level of digital sexiness, more power to you." She doesn't leave it at that though, prints it right up on her website, here's the don't be stupid part: "No matter what, don't send nudie shots back to your guy….I know that you're super hot and…that you totally trust him, but just don't. Even if you 100% trust him, do you trust the guy in the back of the cab who finds his phone when your boyfriend loses it?"
Do you trust U.S. Airways to make sure your nudie pic never sees the light of day?
You can't say yes to that question now, can you?
It is a difficult temptation to resist in a digital era that allows for instantaneous gratification. And there's nobody saying that you shouldn't use the advantages of the digital era to be as creative as you want to be when you communicate with people that you care about. The Internet is infamous as the information superhighway that connects everybody to everything. This means that you have infinite means and ways to communicate with whoever you want, however you want. Just don't be stupid.