Veteran Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester took to Twitter recently to give some sage advice to young, up-and-coming professional athletes about the dangers of social media.
And you should probably listen to him.
Lester told players that it only takes a few minutes to delete old posts, and he's completely correct. Just take the time and make sure you've got nothing which is going to cause a national scandal linked to your name in your backlog, deep or recent.
If you’re on Twitter, please spend the 5 minutes it takes to scrub your account of anything you wouldn’t want plastered next to your face on the front page of a newspaper. Better yet, don’t say stupid things in the first place. Too many young guys getting burned. #themoreyouknow— Jon Lester (@JLester34) July 30, 2018
To some, Lester's comments may seem like advice on how to destroy evidence so the cops don't catch you. But that's not what this is about at all.
“Getting burned”?! Odd way to look at it, don’t you think?— Rachel Eldridge (@racheleldridge) July 30, 2018
As Lester himself points out, this is all about youthful mistakes. People do and say stupid things when they're young, especially when embroiled in high school culture, pressure-packed with people who want you to fit in. Yes, as Lester said, "don't say stupid things in the first place," but stuff occasionally happens when you're young and immature.
Don’t say stupid things in the first place. Good advice. — tommy la stella is my ace (@CubsEmergency) July 30, 2018
Erase the memories you would rather not have people dig up, because they're not representative of who you are now.
Listen I’m far from the sharpest tool in the shed and there’s certainly no halo above my head (pardon the rhyme) but I know some of these guys are great dudes who just had lapses in judgement.— Jon Lester (@JLester34) July 30, 2018
Assuming that they haven't matured at all since then is a little ignorant, but it is of course the sort of story that news outlets looking for flashy headlines will grab onto.
It's far wiser to simply not give them the chance to skewer you for your past mistakes.
Jon you are class act man. Don’t change anything and keep pitching well— Andrew Moody (@realandrewmoody) July 30, 2018
This is great advice from Lester, which hopefully all celebrities, young and old, will heed.