Monday, January 19, 2009

Social Media's Potential To Create A Bad Ripple For You - Part 1

Here's the scene:

Your boss calls you into their office and asks you to have a seat. You immediately know something is wrong. She begins by telling you that something disturbing has been discovered about you on the Internet. She turns her monitor around to show you a listing of your Twitter entries over the past few months. It's like a greatest hits of your best personal observations and quirky remarks.

Sitting at my cubicle doing absolutely nothing. The dude in Office Space is my hero!

My boss just came in and gave us the flavor or the month rah rah speech. Whatever! So Lame!!!

Checking my Facebook and playing this new wordpath game - it so makes it look like I am working and my eight hours is flying by!

I believe that my boss did in fact fall off the turnip truck yesterday. Clearly she landed on her face to boot!

OMG I just found my friend's Facebook photos where I am tagged taking body shots Saturday night. Check it out.

You read through them and suddenly realize you are the only one smiling. Your boss looks at you, her eyes widen and an obscure frown line prominently begins to pouch from her forehead. No she is definiately not smiling.

Then it hits you....Holy crap, she does not find my witty sarcastic comments amusing. Then you realize that most of those Twitter posts were done during the workday. Your heart begins to pound as your mind races feverishly over the many, many questionable posts you made to your Twitter, Facebook and BLOG accounts. Panic sets in like rigamortus to what was once your promising career here at the company.

You wait for it, you hope for it but then it never comes. You know...that ding from the Southwest Airlines commercial that say Wanna Get Away?

Think this is an overblown, highly dramatized description of what might happen? Think again! Here is an example of just how connected this world is and how your very online actions may very well come back to bite you in the hind quarters.

Social media can and will bite you if you aren't careful. Even if you think you are speaking to an audience of close friends and confidants the reality is that is seldom the case. It only takes one person to discover or forward your funny quip, joke or observation outside your intended core audience to launch a Ripple Effect of not so pleasant consequences. So why take the chance?

Tomorrow I will discuss my three rules to insure that you never have to find yourself on the wrong end of a Ripple when it comes to social and online media. Rules, by the way, that I haven't always followed myself but have become far more in tune with given the various platforms I am using and the potential for reputation exposure.

Ripple On!!!


Anonymous said...


Good article. My wife and I were talking about this subject just yesterday.

Marilyn Miller,RDH said...

This will and should be taken seriously. It can get you to the unemployment office fast! To all business owners might want to consider having your IT guys put blocks on all "anti-work" sites. My company has this in play and it keeps things professional. (as far as I can tell)

Dr. Tenesha's Health Blog said...

Two reasons I thank God I work for myself a. i can play on facebook whenever i want. b. no one cares! but i could see how this could be damaging. in fact i'm going to check my employee's cookies on the computer tomorrow!

Sue said...

I only had a few tweets that were questionable, but I deleted them anyway. Just like the questionable stuff on my blog... gone. I don't want that to come back and bite me. Who would hire a photog with a thing for certain female parts? haha. Good post, Steve!

TaRa said...

Definitely food for thought. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

while not related to social media, as soon as I saw this video, I thought of you....and this post...