Missed the Memo? Don’t Put Negative Stuff in Writing

Recently, a friend — let’s call her Sue — wrote a pretty funny Facebook rant. Don't Share Negative News

Witty marketing is her gig, after all, and she’s smart-as-a-whip, so we all enjoy reading her creative take on life.

Unfortunately, the post involved blasting a sponsor, and she then proceeded to copy and paste the would-be sponsor’s rejection letter on her Facebook wall.

Yes, on her wall.

I inboxed her right away and suggested that she remove it ASAP.

While perhaps humorous behind closed doors — yes, there’s probably a time and a place to blow off steam — social media has become a bull pen of possible career-blunting blunders. For some, “trying not to step in it” has become a full-time affair.

If you’re prone to what my mother used to call, “popping off at the mouth,” consider the possible implications of my friend’s post:

  1. Sue’s profile isn’t set to private (there goes her smart-as-a-whip cred) and a Google Alert notifies the sponsor. Pretty straight up fail.
  2. A mutual connection sees the post and knows the sponsor — or knows the sponsor through a friend-of-a-friend. Either way, who’s going to share it first? The age-old gossip game doesn’t hold a candle to how fast word travels in social media.
  3. Sue’s friend thinks it’s funny, takes a screenshot, and posts it to his own profile, accidentally leaving the sponsor and company name intact. He doesn’t have his Facebook profile set to private, and Sue never knows why the sponsor was cool forevermore.
  4. Facebook loosens its privacy policies, which gets tons of press, but opens the previously private post just long enough for Google Alerts to grab a summary of the post, sponsor name, company, and originating author’s name in a tidy little summary (probably archived before anyone can count to ten).

The truth is, we can’t see all of the possible scenarios.

Which is why a person who’s prone to “popping off at the mouth,” but interested in building and keeping a meaningful career, needs to poke his or her head above the tree line and make a commitment to prudent communication.

Not only on Facebook; everywhere.

Sue only sees the short-term satisfaction of blowing off steam, and besides, that sponsor won’t probably ever sponsor anyway, why not let ‘er rip?

Because the world is small and intricately connected.

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon has narrowed to four degrees according to this 2011 VentureBeat.com article. Anyone have a tighter statistic yet?

Not only will the sponsor cool, but word will travel, risking the cumulative effect of poor judgment that can become a career crusher.

Think three times before posting anything to any social media profile.

Think four times before saying or uttering anything negative, at all.

If in doubt — if your gut is telling you to slow the horses — trust it and ditch the idea.

Life is too uncertain.

Until next time!

Jared Redick

Visit: The Resume Studio.com
Follow: @TheResumeStudio
Connect: LinkedIn.com/in/jaredredick
Call: 415-397-6640

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