Tweeting tired is not a good idea. It's not as bad as driving drunk, but it could have similar impact on your career.

Ask Elon Musk.

The car-building solar-power-generating space-conquering genius has feet of clay just like the rest of us, as a recent episode of since-deleted tweets reveal.

Musk and his engineers built a tiny unpowered sub that could have been used to help rescue the Thai soccer team that was stranded in a cave. But British cave diver Vern Unsworth, who helped Thai authorities with the search and rescue operation, called it a PR stunt.

That's over the top, to say the least.

At minimum, it's not Musk's finest moment ... which he apparently understands: the tweets have since been deleted.

We've seen career suicide before, with a Paypal executive who spent a few sleepless days calling out top management publicly on Twitter. In both cases, pairing a public medium with wild and extravagant claims came after a lack of sleep and other stressors.

For Musk, the consequences may not be severe, although Unsworth is considering legal action. But those of us who are not billionaire geniuses might not get off so lightly.

Warren Buffet said it best:

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

We live in the new global village. Statements said in one context will be mixed into others. Comments that once were forgotten almost as soon as they were spoken now can go viral in minutes or hours.

The insight is obvious: friends don't let friends tweet, livestream, post, or share while over-tired or under the influence of a drug.

And smart people under-share their sometimes-nasty internal monologues. Even when things don't go our way. 

Published on: Jul 16, 2018