Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Watch what you say!

I ran across an interesting article online from the Wall Street Journal regarding things that are said in social media circles and how it can effect one's employment status. Check it out.

My dear old dad always told me growing up, "Don't put in writing what you wouldn't want the whole world to see." He's right. I've always tried to operate this way in my life. However, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging changed everything.

We are a society of immediacy. We drive through to get our food. We Red Box our movies. We file our income tax online. We don't like to think things over too long or wait for results. Has this resulted in stifling our own internal sensor as to what is and isn't appropriate to say?

(This teacher said she was fired because of a Facebook photo of her on her European vacation holding alcohol. Let's remember...she's of age and it's legal to drink. So why was she fired for that?)

My friend, Pam, is an executive recruiter and she tells me that not only do employers look people up online (website, blog, Twitter, FB) before interviewing them, but schools also look at potential students' sites to see what kind of addition they'll be to campus life.

Is this right? Is Freedom of Speech gone wild? Or is it an infrigement of your rights to have to be accountable for everything you say online.

Just because we CAN say whatever we want, does that mean we SHOULD?

Sure, we've all encountered the school beyotch who made life unbearable at times. We've all had the fat cat of a boss who manages you with a heavy hand. Is it appropriate to Tweet or FB every emotion related to dealing with these people?

It's a slippery slope and one that it seems the courts will start hashing out.

What do you think? What does your "digital" or "virtual social footstep" say about you?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Marley = )

Ghosts don't hang up their sheets after Halloween!
GHOST HUNTRESS series - The Awakening, The Guidance,
The Reason, The Counseling - available now!


Jess Day said...

I totally agree with the precautions employers and colleges are taking....although they can go overboard (ex. the teacher fired for her facebook photo)I totally believe that what you put out there should be held against you. The internet is now the perfect place for bullies and people to go wild, sometimes we forget others can see that.

Shelly B said...

I do think you need to be careful what you post, but I also agree with freedom of speech. It's a very gray area.

Kristen said...

Yeah, working in a school there's obvious no-nos.. do not talk about your students, don't even mention what happened at school.. don't post any pictures of drinking, etc. I've known of teachers who have gotten fired or written up because of something silly they have said on facebook. And now with twitter, that is dually so.

It's a little creepy the way once you put it on the web it is there forever. Makes me rethink the whole facebook thing some days.

nymfaux said...

well, this is definitely a minefield. No matter what or where you say something, I think you should be accountable for it--although I'm not sure I would say they it should be held "against" us (sorry, that's probably just semantics).

I kind of try to follow the rule, "what would my mother think if she saw it."--but I do have a fairly understanding mother...

There are definitely people that I will not friend, because I wouldn't want it to affect me in a professional capacity--and also the reason that I keep my profile private--friends and family only.

But now, people are being encouraged to use social networking in their job searches and job capacity--so who's really blurring the lines, here?

as for that teacher--what's to say that she's even drinking anything alcoholic?--couldn't it just as easily be nonalcoholic? apple juice?--maybe everyone else was drinking and she abstained?

or, ok, let's say she is a legal adult and was drinking--what if someone else took the picture and posted it on their page?--something that she would have absolutely no control over.

I definitely don't think that this should have been a fire-able offense, but the fact is that we now live in an age without privacy. Or perhaps censorship is the new privacy???