27. November 2009 09:49
I come to you today with a cautionary tale of the woes of the Internet.
Don't worry I'm not about to start preaching about how good the old
days were and how I wish we could all go back to corresponding by
letter and using quills... although anyone that knows me will
know this to be true! Instead I come with a warning, of the perils of
disclosure, and how it can get you into trouble in the workplace.
virtual love train for Twitter has far exceeded my expectations,
especially as 'flash in the pan' was what first sprung to mind. I
remember my first interaction with Twitter, forever the cynic at new
social inventions, I entered my details with a raised eyebrow and
expected to find a whole host of things I had to gripe about. But
shockingly, I loved it, and still love it. It has turned out to be a
socially convenient, work friendly, staple of my day- my boss was even
the one to alert me to the wonders of Twitter Fox; allowing me to be at
one with my Twitter stream, tucked neatly in the corner of my browser,
twinkling away when a new tweet appears.
Although Twitter is a
fantastical tool and especially handy for job seeking, like anything
fabulous on the Internet you can waste hours idly reading people's
tweets until you end up somewhere and have no idea where you began! N.B to my boss: I don't do this... honest!
Time-waster browsing aside, there is a bigger problem with Twitter. The
potential for rants. You see a white box with the potential for 140
characters worth of getting-things-off-your-chest. Cue angry messages
about irritating late trains, rude people in shops, poor customer
service... and you can't help but feeling a little better knowing that
you've released your negative energy into the vast abyss of the world
And of course the potential for rants is endless,
especially when you spend a large proportion of your day at work. Let's
face it, there are going to be annoyances to you in the workplace. Your
sleep deprived, desperation for caffeine makes you intrinsically
angrier than usual, and your colleague has just done that one annoying
thing too many...
Just typing the words, 'I hate my boss' or 'I
hate my job' into the Twitter search brings back a scary amount of
angry employee rants. But has the term 'Facebook fired' escaped their
attention?! Many office workers have gotten into trouble, and even
fired for their errant Facebook statuses, which either incriminate them
in falsely claimed sick days or has alerted the company to their
intense dislike of the business.
Either way, choosing to
disclose your hatred of work on Twitter or Facebook is a seriously
misjudged and terrible idea. Helen Popkin, on msnbc.com calls it
'virtual darwinism'- people who fail to realise the error of posting
such rants on public channels, almost deserve their fate.
And if anyone isn't familiar with the infamous Cisco/Twitter related job incident, read this and cringe at your leisure.
the moral of my cautionary tale is this: if you want to keep your job,
avoid social networks on those days when you just might blow... or it
could be far more trouble than it's worth. And remember the 'delete'
key may not save you; Google has a lovely way of caching historical
data so your deleted tweets may still turn up somewhere you don't want
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