Before you hit Retweet

How embarrassing is it to be the person at a party who blurts out news that is either old or untrue?  You feel stupid, and to be honest, you look stupid. That same principle applies to Twitter, and people need to understand that.  Twice in the past two months, my Facebook and Twitter have been inundated with “Mizzou to SEC!” “M-I-Z-S-E-C” “Bye Big 12! Wish we were going to the Big 10!” And I just roll my eyes.

Yes, Chancellor Brady Deaton of the University of Missouri stepped down as a chair of the Big 12 realignment committee, and yes, we are “exploring our best options.” But NO, we have not been invited to the SEC or Big 10, so people need to step away from the computer, and hold off on celebrating on social networking sites.

The first time it happened in September, there was absolutely no reason for everyone to start deciding who would drive to the annual Alabama-Mizzou game.  No releases from MU Athletics, no SEC press releases, nothing. Just the fact that the SEC now has 13 teams, and there was talk of a Pac-12 expansion. Statuses were soon loaded with comments, backtracking statements, trying to tell friends “I was just excited at the idea.” I even noticed that some of my own Facebook friends took down their posts about the conference move.

Now it is starting all over again. Yes there is more to go on now, Mizzou might be leaving the Big 12, but they might also stay. The facts are that we no longer have anyone from the school on the conference realignment committee, and the university is looking elsewhere. That’s it. The SEC just released a statement about the Athletic Directors planning a 13-team schedule for next year. Still, a popular campus bar changed their Twitter handle from @CampusBig12Bar to @CampusSECBar, and I already see Tweets bemoaning our non-southern school moving to the Southern conference.

Why people? Can’t you just bite your tongue until anything is official? Instead of having to discretely remove a Tweet or post, just don’t write it at all. No shame in keeping quiet.  You know who I won’t believe next time there are rumors about anything related to Mizzou or the SEC? That’s right, you. You’re probably the same person who shut down twitter with Tweets about Matt Painter coming to Mizzou Basketball.

So for the all the amateur journalists out there, before you ruin any credibility you have, stop typing and read a real website. Check your facts before you go spreading the rumors on Twitter.  Conference realignment is messy, and it’s hard to keep up, so please, don’t make my life any harder with an incorrect trending topic.  I want to move conferences as much as you do, but Tweeting like an idiot won’t change a thing.

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