Visit us at

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Social Media. It's all fun and games until someone gets fired.

Social media channels are a great way to stay connected with your family, friends and colleagues. They’re also great at helping you find out about special store promotions, news on upcoming events and just about anything you’re into. And now they’re a great way to get yourself fired.

With Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs, it’s easy to post your everyday random thoughts whatever they may be. It’s self-expression at its finest. People can find out what you’re up to and what’s on your mind. It’s generally something you never need to think twice about. And why should you? They are your thoughts and no one else’s right? Not really.

It’s easy to forget the real meaning of www.  Just when you think only a few people are reading your thoughts, several hundreds may have seen it as well. Essentially, it’s gone public. In the past, we’ve read news reports and stories about people being fired for posting how horrible their jobs were. One woman even posted on Facebook how much of an ass her boss was. Stupid right? Of course, she was well within her rights to say whatever she wanted to her friends on FB, but she forgot that she had ‘friended’ her boss (a mistake she’ll probably never make again). She was fired on the spot with a posted reply from her boss.

So should someone be fired for expressing themselves through social media? Truth is, it’s human nature to ‘bitch’ about things that frustrate you. And since we spend so much time each day at work, it’s not difficult to find something frustrating at some point in time. There’s probably not a single person alive today that can say they’ve never had an off-colour comment about their job or someone they’ve worked with. Although chances are any ‘bitching’ was probably kept between a couple of friends, a bartender and few drinks - not 800 of your Facebook friends.

Or should a negative post serve as a conversation starter between the disgruntled and subject of aggression? For any company manager, reading a negative post online from an employee is surprising and probably very shocking (Because morale is so great at your company right?). But it raises an honest question. Are your employees truly happy? Does the company do a good enough job in providing an open environment that allows employees to discuss work issues and problems with personnel without fear of losing their jobs? Obviously for this to work it requires professionalism and maturity on both sides, not just the employer.

Imagine if every company in the world made it a goal to be great at this, we’d probably never see another negative posting about work again (Don’t hold your breath). But until that day comes, you might want to refrain from airing work issues online and try going straight to your boss. Or better yet, head straight for the bar.

1 comment:

Thank you for commenting!