Some people still don’t get it.

The broadness of that sentence is on purpose, but for the sake of this it’s in reference to social media.

Despite the fact it’s been around a few years, people still can’t/don’t/won’t grasp how it works.

Some still can’t/don’t/won’t comprehend that you what you say on this medium of communication lives forever. FOREVER. It doesn’t matter if you delete it, someone will capture your 140-character lapse in judgement and remind us of you forehead-slapping moment forever.

The medium does allow you to interact with millions of people all over the world in just a matter of seconds. It’s remarkable when you think back to 50 years ago and how people communicated.

It’s changed our society.

Whether that change is a good thing is up for debate.

Some love it.

Some detest it.

Like the rest of the Internet, we have yet to see the full potential and power of social media.

There are some who get “Twitter tough” when you state an opinion someone doesn’t agree with. From politics and sports to entertainment and Internet marketing, if you have an opinion prepare yourself for the trolls (that’s a topic for a different day).

In some instances, certain companies and individuals haven’t figured out social media yet. They don’t understand that what you say does and will live forever in infamy.

Otherwise known as the social media fails of epic proportions.

Don’t Mess With TV Shows

Don’t Mess With TV Shows

If you want upset people to know end, screw with their TV shows and release what happens before they watch it … on the same night the show airs.

Last November, AMC didn’t wait for the West Coast to see the mid-season finale of the “Walking Dead” before it gave the ending away.

As soon as the episode ended on the East Coast, the show’s Facebook page put a photo of Daryl (Norman Reedus) carrying the dead body of Beth (Emily Kinney).

Not much is left for interpretation with that photo.

If that wasn’t enough there also is the caption “RIP Beth” to nail it home what happened on the episode.

As you can imagine, people lost their minds.

There weren’t condolences for Beth or shock over her death but profanity-laced comments and memes from upset viewers.

In most cases, at least a few weeks is adequate time to give to watch the mid-season or season finale of a show. It’s common decency for those who have lives and can’t watch the show right when airs.

It’s one thing when it’s a viewer or critic who does that.

It’s a whole other level of epic fail when it’s the network that airs the show … on the same night (Nov. 30) the episode airs.

If you read the apology from AMC, the network was cutesy with it. When companies do stuff like that, own up to it. Don’t make it worse.

That brings us to “The Voice” on NBC.

For those who don’t know, it’s a singing competition that stars country superstar Blake Shelton, Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, and Christina Aguilera.

As the show progresses, they do what the show calls “live saves.” That’s when the viewers of the show can instantly save one of the artists who didn’t get enough votes.

These instant saves take place on Twitter and the person with the most tweets in their favor stays on the show.

There’s only one problem with this.

It’s only for people on the East Coast.

If you live anywhere else and watch the show, you can’t take place in the instant save. Unless, of course, you are on social media at that very moment but that defeats the purpose of watching the show.

But wait, there’s more …

On the finale of “The Voice,” Pharrell pulled an AMC and tweeted out the winner of the show after the East Coast version of the show ended.

First off, the show takes place in Los Angeles. So the logic behind “This is only for people who live on the East Coast” is nonsensical garbage. It makes your head hurt.

Only the people on the East Coast matter?

Second, have common sense to not tweet out the winner of the show right after it ends and most of the country has yet to watch it.

It’s not rocket science.

It’s just a little foresight and common sense before you send out a tweet or post on social media.

As you will see, this is a common refrain.

The Airlines, Though. Really?

At the top of the list of social media disaster after social media disaster are airlines.

At some point, they just need to stop using social media or have someone like us teach them how to do it properly.

The old adage, “Any publicity is good publicity” is tested by airlines way too often.

The big one is the photo mishap with US Airways.

In response to a customer compliant, the airline tweeted out a graphic photo.

The company later explained it was an honest mistake since the company attempted to flag the photo as inappropriate. When it did, Twitter copied the image URL.

US Airways

When the company attempted to tweet the customer, the two tweets linked each other.

That brings up the first thing companies and people should get training on when it comes to this new social media age: be cautious. As a matter of fact, be extremely cautious.

Don’t take the risk if you’re not 100 percent certain.

The airline might think that’s an honest mistake, but if it had been cautious, it probably wouldn’t have happened.

Southwest Airlines had a face palm moment a few months ago.

A male customer received priority seating but his two kids did not. Worse, they weren’t even allowed to board the plane.

The customer then tweeted out, “Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate c39, not happy @SWA.”

It’s his Twitter account, so he has every right to say it.

According to AdWeek, the man and his two kids were then asked by the agent to de-board the plane when he was told to delete the tweet if he wanted to get back on the flight.

He did.

That’s only the start.

The agent said she felt threatened. In other words, she didn’t want her employer to see the tweet.

What people like this agent fail to understand is even if you delete something on social media, it still exists.

And what’s to keep him tweeting something even more damaging to her when he lands?

But it doesn’t end there.

As Business2Communtiy points out, Southwest doubled down.

“A Southwest Airlines employee and customer were having a conversation about the airline’s family boarding procedures that escalated. The customer was removed from (the) flight for a period of time to resolve the conversation outside of the aircraft and away from the other passengers.”

The customer’s 6-year-old daughter had a different take. “I, like, thought something bad was going to happen, like my dad being in jail,” she told reporters.

The company did try to make it right with $50 in vouchers.

It would appear Southwest Airlines thinks it can control what its customers put on social media. That’s an epic fail.

United Airlines had its recent fail, too. Only it wasn’t stated on social media but ignited there.

United Airlines

In late July, a customer received a response letter to their complaint.

Only, the customer care manager didn’t take the time to fill in the required areas before sending it.

Another example of shoddy, lazy customer service.

Sports Get In On The Fun

The best example is the New England Patriots.

New England Patriots

In early November, the NFL club was ecstatic that it hit 1 million followers on Twitter.

The team tweeted out to fans asking them to retweet a message about its one million followers. Anyone who did got an image of a Patriots jersey with their Twitter handle on the back.

What could possibly go wrong?

A bot handling your social media? There’s no way people would take advantage of that.

New England Patriots

As you would expect someone did, and the New England Twitter account sent out an incredibly racist tweet. Of course, the Patriots deleted the tweet but people should know by now just because you delete it doesn’t make it disappear. The tweet was saved by just about everyone, so when New England did delete it, followers still had proof.

The backlash was instantaneous.

The Patriots sent out an apologetic tweet, but it didn’t matter.

The Internet was not in a forgiving mood, as you can see.

It doesn’t end with the Patriots.

Whatever the sport, it’s a daily occurrence to have an athlete tweet something out that forces you to want to slap your head on your desk.

Inevitably the person claims they were hacked (that’s the newest excuse).

Unless someone crawled into their brain and forced their digits to type up the 140 characters, there’s another reason.

It’s what we refer to as stupidity.

Nice try, thanks for the laughs.

Other Epic Social Media Fails:

London Luton Airport didn’t make the wisest decision when it used an airplane crashing to say, “Because we are such a super airport… this is what we prevent you from when it snows… Weeeee :)”

The guy on Facebook licking the taco shells.

The poor soul who thinks Billy Ray Cyrus is Kurt Cobain.

The Geraldo Rivera photo.

But the best, Justin Bieber fans not knowing what a DUI is.

Thanks For The Laughs

Social media is (still) quite the experience.

Despite the fact it’s been around a few years, you never know what you’ll see next.

At least it’s unpredictable.

One thing is for certain: It highlights the stupid in our society on our planet, with the new Scarlet Letter.

It makes you weep for the future.

Now is as good as any to remind those who suffer from this ailment: Just because you delete it doesn’t mean it’s gone.

At some point, people will figure this out (but hopefully not too soon).

  • Ian St. Clair is a senior SEO specialist at Clicks and Clients. After close to a decade in newspapers as an award-winning writer and columnist, he woke up and found the light as a copywriter.