Everyone should know what not to post on Facebook without any further elaboration or explanation but that knowledge doesn’t always seem to have an impact on what actually does get posted. Social media has provided a platform that allows everyone to have a very influential voice. This is a privilege that should not be abused and one which should be managed with respect and responsibility.
Everyone has a choice in life between good or evil, happy or sad, positive or negative, considerate or inconsiderate just as we have the choice to post it or not to post it. The best advice is to think before you post giving consideration to your intent and to the impact your post will have on others. Do you actually have the facts surrounding your post? How will your message be received and could it negatively impact your reputation? Is it reflective of your personal or corporate brand? If your emotions are running high don’t post anything! This is not to say that sharing your opinion is the wrong thing to do but remember once it’s read you can’t ever take it back! For those who are so self-absorbed that they are unable to consider anyone else, you may want to refrain from ever posting anything.
We are not all the same but we can share the same expectation of consideration online as we do in person. Most of us are not going to walk up to someone and verbally assault them and nor should it ever be done online. Honesty and integrity should be the basis of all online profiles but it may be a difficult lesson when so many parents are allowing their children to lie about how old they are in order to establish a Facebook profile before the age requirement of 13 years. If anything, maybe some children will learn from the mistakes of adults but is this what they should see? Again, consideration must be given to EVERYONE who will see your post.
Jane Doe wrote:
“Now why would I go to your party, after YOU ARE HAVING AN AFFAIR with my now EX boyfriend. You are NOT a good friend “Sassy”! And I’m putting it out there for everyone to know. Watch your men around “Sassy!”
Most are likely already aware of Sassy’s reputation so what does this post really say about Jane Doe?
John Smith wrote:
“I hate my fat, lazy boss. Think I’ll call in sick tomorrow.”
John Smith might feel great about this post but I wonder how happy he will be when he loses his job?
Employers are using Facebook to review employees and solidify the candidacy of potential employees. Parents are checking the profiles of those we trust to teach and counsel our children. Family and friends are sharing information that will touch the closest of friends, acquaintances, children and grandparents. Professionals are networking and managing executive careers. Customers are checking businesses for quality products and services. How appropriate is your post? Will it show a lack of empathy, emotional stability or is it simply offensive? If you need to deliberate over whether you should post it online, that’s a clear indication NOT to post it on Facebook!
Report: Facebook Wall Posts Are Full Of @#$%, “More than 60 percent of users have at least 10 pieces of what Socioclean calls inappropriate content, including profanity, drugs or alcohol.
The Star has a great article by Vanessa Lu, and the prevalence of employers utilizing social media as a resource to ELIMINATE potential candidates. Although organizations are popping up to clean up the mess, the most appropriate advice was from Ontario’s privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian, “a simple message – think before you click”.
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