I was just thinking this morning about the various levels of candor I employ when I think something potentially offensive and consider talking about it, stated as the questions I ask myself. (The calculation is different if privacy is the issue.)
- Would I say it on my blog?
- Would I say it in front of my grandmother?
- Would I say it on Twitter?
- Would I say it at an all hands meeting at work?
- Would I say it in email?
- Would I say it to my mother?
- Would I say it to the coworkers who I know well?
- Would I say it to my close friends (in front of their spouses who I know less well)?
- Would I instant message it to a close friend?
- Would I say it to my close friends?
- Would I say it to my wife?
You can infer from this that I am not as funny on my blog as I am in other settings. The other thing you can deduce from that list is that I’m a bit cautious about what I say when it’s going to live forever on a hard drive somewhere.