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Back in the 80s and 90s, I remember several conversations with friends – and I think it was used in some TV shows and movies – about how convenient it would be if all of the people who have crazy ideas would wear aluminum foil hats. It would make it so much easier to know who to keep at arms length.

If you haven’t noticed, that wish has come true…without the foil hats.

In the age of social media, every word you type and every picture you share is another fold in your aluminum hat. Even if you’re “normal”. What’s perfectly normal and acceptable to you is viewed by someone else as ridiculous, hurtful, shameful, or unequal.

I’m not saying you’re not right. I’m not saying you’re not normal. I’m not saying that you’re not entitled to your opinion.

What I AM saying is that no matter what you post, say, or share, it’s out there for the world to see. Your family, your potential future partner, your future kids, your friends, your employer, and even the person who decides whether or not your job application goes to the next level.

Every action has a reaction. Every decision has a consequence. And everyone else has an opinion too.

Be wise. And if you have any doubt that what you’re about to say isn’t something you’d say in public to your grandma, then just type it into your notepad on your phone and revisit it in a few hours. Wisdom takes time, and sometimes a trash can icon.

That last part only applies if your grandma isn’t high or wearing a tin-foil hat.


Pete Herrick is a radio personality, speaker, blogger and podcaster. He works with groups on leadership, culture, transition, efficiency, storytelling and branding. Find him on social media @peteherrick or at Now booking engagements, contact us for availability.