What if Shakespeare Tweeted?

May 30 2011 by Wayne Turmel Print This Article

Like managers everywhere, I've been inundated with Social Media. I have been tweetfacelinkblogging (patent pending on that one) like crazy and wondering why I bother. Then I stopped to think about it. Some of the biggest tragedies in history and literature could have been solved with a tweet there or a timely Facebook status update.

Think about it. Juliet didn't have to stand on the balcony and pine. No "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou..." One look at her phone would have told her: ROMEOMONTAGUE has checked in to Juliet's Back Yard on Foursquare. And a quick search on the apothecary's customer service on Yelp might have avoided some confusion.

Skype could have saved Julius Caesar. I mean, first of all he could have done a lot of the prep work before ever crossing the Rubicon, which seemed to be the issue at hand. Plus, a good webcam would have told him that, indeed, Cassius does have a lean hungry look to him and never says anything on conference calls.

Charles Dickens knew a thing or two about people (or should I say, 'the human condition'). A lot of trouble could have been avoided if David Copperfield had just checked out Uriah Heep's profile on Facebook.

Sure, he seemed like a good dude and a hard worker, but a quick search would have shown him two friends, a "like" for his boss's lame holiday pictures and 3200 unanswered invitations to play Farmville. That would have told him all he needed to know about this guy. Watch your back, Dave, is all I'm saying.

What about Jane Eyre? She could have done a quick scan of Facebook for Edward Fairfax Rochester. Relation status: "it's complicated". That might have answered a few questions and I'm sure his insurance company would have been happier.

For those who've ever tried to read Moby Dick you know how long and ponderous it is. In its hardcover edition it weighs just slightly less than the whale itself. I can just imagine the Twitter feed on that one:

Ishmael: RT Whale sighted, Home any day now. @sh*tmycaptainsays.

Or @TheRealRichardIII: A horse. A horse. My kingdom for a horse.

Of course with a deal like that, it's more of a Craigslist thing, but you see where I'm going with this.

As a manager, hiring decisions are important. Perhaps a quick look at Macbeth's LinkedIn profile would have been a tipoff. Just 4 Connections - three old hags and Banquo - and 427 second degree connections, all through the Mrs. No thanks, we're looking for a king with a bit more industry experience.

The speed of information and willingness of complete strangers to help is a major advantage to these tools. Hamlet could have saved himself a lot of trouble by using LinkedIn Questions:

Hamlet Hameltsen asks: To be or not to be? What's your experience? He might have actually gotten some help (along with 17 unsolicited responses from software vendors and 4 from multi level marketers but some of those free webinars do have some value.)

Yes, as annoying as keeping up with Social Media can be, the access to information in a timely manner could have prevented a lot of problems from getting to the point of tragedy. If one simple status update could change the world – think @Parisoftroy Lame Greeks left their wooden horse behind. Finders keepers LOL - imagine what you can do to help the Johnson Project get done on time!

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About The Author

Wayne Turmel
Wayne Turmel

For almost 30 years, Wayne Turmel has been obsessed with how people communicate - or don't - at work. He has spent the last 20 years focused on remote and virtual work, recognized as one of the top 40 Remote Work Experts in the world. Besides writing for Management Issues, he has authored or co-authored 15 books, including The Long-Distance Leader and The Long-Distance Teammate. He is the lead Remote and Hybrid Work subject matter expert for the The Kevin Eikenberry Group. Originally from Canada, he now makes his home in Las Vegas, US.