A few weeks ago I watched a stand-up comedy special by Scottish comic and late-night TV talk-show host Craig Ferguson. The special was titled Does This Need to Be Said?, and in the show, he has a bit based on that question. That bit has become my new mantra, and it should be the mantra of any public or semi-public figure who uses social media or ever stands in front of a camera or microphone or live audience:
- Does this need to be said?
- Does this need to be said by me?
- Does this need to be said at this time?
I think that if everyone — especially me — were to impose this litmus test upon most things they might say, post, or tweet, there would be far fewer “Internet scandals” in the news. And then we could all go back to whatever drove scandals in the 90s.