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Careful Out There, Tweeters!

Social networking is an interesting thing. I’m not sure when we got the idea that everyone would want to know what we are having for breakfast, when we are mad at our husbands, or when we have a cough…but I’ll admit I’m hooked. I’ve really quite enjoyed catching up with people, and while I occasionally delete someone or hide their comments because of their moment-by-moment commentary on their life, generally I think social networking can be used for good. Not to mention it’s just…well…fun.

Just be careful what you throw out there into the virtual universe. It doesn’t go away, people!

Just this week we have seen Gilbert Gottfried fired as the voice of the Aflac duck for tweeting inappropriate jokes about the devastation in Japan (and I read a few of the jokes and they truly were tasteless.)

Then we have the man in Detroit who lost his job with Chrysler after tweeting that we shouldn’t call ourselves the Motor City if no one can (blankety-blank) drive. Oops, stuck in traffic one day, tweet it to the world the next (it actually went out on a Chrysler account rather than his own), and you are out of a job the next. Careful out there tweeters!

And of course we cannot forget this tidbit from a few weeks ago. This poor BYU coed had her facebook page slammed after writing a letter to the editor asking why we worship Jimmer Fredette and BYU basketball. But the letter to the editor wasn’t enough — no, she had to also post on her facebook that she had written the letter. What followed was kind of hilarious and sad all at the same time. I felt bad for the girl, but quite thoroughly enjoyed the comments from people who worship at the feet of “The Jimmer.” Great entertainment.

Hey, I am all for self-expression. By all means, tell me whatever you want me to know by whatever means you’d like – just don’t be surprised when a little birdie is sitting there looking over your shoulder and singing your news to the world. Some might like your song, and some might not. Just hope that those who don’t like it have no power over things like, say, your career.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Angie March 17, 2011, 2:12 pm

    Ha, I didn’t even know about that case until I looked it up just now. Interestingly enough, she is very clear on her bio page now to “BE YE NOT SO STUPID” to blog about people at work.

    I am also reminded of the school teacher who was recently fired for blogging about her students (and I don’t think she even mentioned their names).

    I have a facebook friend who constantly posts about his work and how awful they are. Everyone always tells him he better knock it off or he’ll get fired and he says, “Oh well.” I wonder though…even if he doesn’t care about this particular job, how is this going to follow him? Are other potential employers going to see this and not give him a second glance? Something to think about.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 17, 2011, 1:45 pm

    I don’t forget the first, well-documented case. Former-LDS blogger Heather Armstrong, whose blog title has become verbiazed 🙂 to mean “someone who got fired for blogging.” Dooced.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Entertainment Book Coupons – 17 SaleMy Profile

  • Darcee Yates March 17, 2011, 5:40 pm

    I had to check out your reference to the former LDS blogger Heather ARmstrong too, discovering that she is not a ‘former blogger’ but rather a current blogger, who was formally LDS.

    There’s probably been more than just a handful of bloggers who have lost their job due to untimely comments. My daughter read the book – Such a Pretty Fat – which I believe recounts that the author of that book, lost her job/ or simply wasn’t hired(can’t remember which) in an interview because of comments she made on her blog. Although, It hasn’t hurt her in the long run with at least three published books now.

    It all reminds me of my 6th grade teacher. I distinctly remember Ms. Griner telling me to be careful what I wrote. (I think she intercepted a note of mine in class. And being the love sick child that I was at that age, a boys name was probably mentioned. )

    I work for the airlines and they have made it VERY clear to us that if we blog or participate in social networks to keep their name out of it.

    I keep thinking I want to write a blog about flying and the things I’ve seen on the plane but don’t ever want to worry that someone could interpret what I’ve said as going to far. I love my job.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 17, 2011, 5:54 pm

    Yea, I noticed that, too. I edited the comment to say former-lds. Hope that clarifies. 🙂

    I understand your concern, Darcee. You could always set up an anonymous blog with a private registration. It may be a big hit with other airline personnel who see outrageous stuff in flight! (Ahem, let me know if you ever want to set up a blog. 🙂 )
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Entertainment Book Coupons – 17 SaleMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 17, 2011, 5:42 pm

    Yea, she says “be ye not so stupid,” except that it made her rich and famous. 🙂 She seems to be reveling in the stupidity.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…St Patrick’s Day Slow Cooker Corned BeefMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner March 17, 2011, 7:24 pm

    I have a friend who works as a special ed teacher. She blogs about cute things her students do and say, with no names or pics (of their faces, sometimes she’ll show artwork and such). So far she’s in any trouble for it, but I think the other teacher who got in trouble was doing the same thing (except she was saying mean stuff).

  • jennycherie March 18, 2011, 6:36 am

    OH NO! Panic!! I used to blog about work!!! When I first had to go back to work full-time, I was working at Wal-mart and I blogged about my experiences there. It was never negative towards the company, just entertaining to me. And, I’m pretty certain no one ever read it so that was a bonus as well.

    I really am interested by all of the things we “go public” with now that social media is so widely used and accepted! I’ve noticed some of my younger friends (especially cousins, nieces, nephews) post EVERYthing. We get a kick out of just watching the relationship status change. . .daily. 😉

  • Alison Moore Smith March 18, 2011, 11:48 am

    OK. Do you know what makes me crazy? When my young relatives and other young FB friends post posts-they-think-are-clandestine-but-are-really-embarassingly-obvious-lovelorn statuses. Oh, I just die when I see them.

  • Mav April 1, 2011, 3:18 pm

    It’s kinda like having that relative that you know you should not say anything to them unless…you want the WHOLE world to know ( and we know how that can happen within minutes). I tend to tweet with purpose and I purposely tweet…:-)
    By Design,

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