Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Social Media Suicide

It seems as though everybody is using some sort of social media device these days. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or any of the other social media outlets, the internet has exploded to become a forum for all of us to have our moment, or moments, in the spotlight.

I recently read an article about how divorce lawyers have turned to Facebook (as well as other social media outlets) to aid them in their cases. It seems that a large majority of people are inconsiderate of what they post, paying little, if any, attention to the ramifications that may result from posting pictures, comments, etc.

If you have a Facebook or Twitter account this behaviour is likely apparent. You know what I'm talking about; that annoying Facebook friend that spews embarrassing rhetoric about the most personal details of their life. -- How many times have you read about Jane Smith's hatred for her deadbeat baby daddy, or about how John Doe hates his job? How many people on your network fail to censor their thoughts, behaviours and actions? Perhaps you are one of them.

It's likely that people feel that in the realm of sites like Facebook and Twitter, they are safe because they are amongst friends. Maybe they don't care. Maybe they're simply unaware of how they are perceived by others.

I'm sure that we are all guilty of this; I can't imagine how inappropriate some of my Facebook posts and tweets are. However, given the constant warnings from my instructors at school, and the fear of becoming another example of someone who has committed career suicide via a social media site, I am extremely cautious (perhaps even paranoid) about the things I post online. (This isn't to say that I don't dabble in inappropriate posting still, but for the most part it is benign.)

It's important, and sobering, to consider that nowadays many employers, institutions and apparently divorce lawyers make use of the online information that's out there; the information that we willingly put out there for the world to see. These social media devices have become an employer's (and divorce lawyer's) best friend, and perhaps an employee's (divorcee's) worst nightmare.

Perhaps a good rule of thumb for everyone who uses these social media sites is this: Think of the most "prudish" person you know, and consider how they would react to the pictures, comments, messages that you post on the internet. Or, consider what a potential employer would say, or how they would react, if they had access to your social media life. (Even though you might be heavily protected online, remember that the internet is an extremely unforgiving media. Things you post never go away, and in this day and age a potential employer's best reference is you via a google search engine.)

Just some food for thought friends.

1 comment:

  1. Very important to remember. As a teacher I was told not to post anything on my facebook that I wouldn`t be comfortable with seeing on the front page of the newspaper.