Lack of time this week means you get something from the past. This was written in 2014 but seems to be just as relevant today as then. Now the President of the United States is an active ‘twitter’ user and we can see how that’s working for him…
I sometimes wonder if people have any idea of the damage they are doing to themselves and others when they post a video to You Tube or on their Facebook page. I believe that anyone with a Twitter account is eventually going to shoot themselves in the foot because they decide to post something in a moment of anger. I’ve heard the stories of someone being released from their job because they ‘tweeted’ disparaging comments about their employer and admitted to unacceptable behaviour in the workplace. All because they were pissed off!!!
I believe that Facebook and Twitter are froth with danger no matter what your age. A good friend of mine likes to say “the internet is forever” meaning that once you have put it out there… it’s out there. Anyone over the age of twenty-five should understand this and behave accordingly. If you don’t then I suspect you’re headed for prison or at the very least, some serious public embarrassment. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of ‘stupid’ that people are willing to share on social media and the fact that they appear to have no idea what sort of damage they are doing to themselves. Not just now but in the future as well.
I think that the younger you are the worse the danger is. I have written about the bus monitor that was bullied by the thirteen year olds, it was their video posting to social media that brought the wrath of god upon their heads. They have no idea that this incident will follow them for the rest of their lives. It may seem to be over as far as their young minds are concerned but one day it will rear its ugly head and bite them square in the ass! They can forget about public office as a career choice, they wouldn’t get through the vetting. Many other employment opportunities have been removed from their future; they don’t know it yet but mark my words… The internet doesn’t forget. Considering that employers are already checking social media while performing background checks, they will have refined it to a science by the time those four ‘yahoos’ hit the job market.
The pitfall to social media is that it is instant. You don’t get do-overs with the internet and even if you remove something from your Facebook page minutes after you’ve posted it, all your followers had a chance to read it before sanity prevailed. It is now public record! The other side is that the authorities can also see what you did and bust your ass if you crossed a legal line. Numerous ‘evil-doers’ have been brought to answer for their acts because a video was posted to You Tube of their actions. Posted by witnesses and in some cases the ‘asshole’ that committed the crime!! We tend to forget that posting a message about our exploits on social media makes it accessible to all and not just the people we intended to see it.
The odd thing I find is that although Social Media is relatively new, it is being used by all age groups. My eighty year-old mother had a Facebook account!! She told me it was so she can keep current with the activities of her grandchildren. This is the case with many older people, they have no idea what to do with a Social Media account… they’re just watching what you’re up to. It’s scary if you ask me! Posting the results of a first date along with the pictures of you dancing on the table at the bar may seem like a fun thing to do at the time but you may have to answer some embarrassing questions at the next family feast!! Young people (25 or under) don’t seem to grasp the concept that anyone can see what you did during ‘Mardi Gras’ in New Orleans. Grandma knows you didn’t buy all those beads like you told her you did!! The young don’t have the patience to think about what they post before they do it. They think that their messages and videos will only be viewed by those people they intended to see it and no-one else! Are you brain dead!!! Social media and the internet are public, much like smoke signals; the message is out there for all to see. You need to think twice before you hit the ‘publish’ button. Ask yourself a few simple questions. Will the post (written or video) have a negative impact for you or someone else? Will you be able to face your grandmother at Sunday dinner? Will the post get you arrested? If you answer Yes-No-Yes… DON’T DO IT!!!
Orwell wrote about “Big Brother’ always watching and although he may have been a little off with the date, he hit the nail right on the head. They are watching! Everyone is watching!!! You don’t have to be committing a crime to do yourself damage; you need only be videoed behaving in a less then flattering light for there to be repercussions. So you misbehaved at the Office Christmas party, no big deal, only a couple of people saw right? Wrong! The guy in the corner caught it on his IPhone and sixty seconds later your drunken advances on the boss’s wife went viral! Better get your resume in order! Now a days, ‘public’ is no longer what we see around us, but ranges far beyond our sight and ‘Big Brother’ is always watching. I think that the only thing that Orwell didn’t see coming was that ‘Big Brother’ would not be the ‘evil-authorities’ but would turn out to be ourselves.