We all have bad days – lack of sleep, stress at work, bills to pay, etc. can cause us to have a less than stellar 24 hours. When those days happen, one has to be careful of using social networking outlets to vent his/her frustrations.
Don’t Press Send
Former NFL player and coach, Herm Edwards, addressed NFL rookies in 2011 and among his many words of wisdom was his advice concerning tweeting when one was upset/emotional, “Don’t press send.”
This is great advice as too many individuals fire off an emotion-filled response, tweet, or posting and regret the action later on. For example, a New York Jet football player tweeted how he thought trading for a certain Denver quarterback was a bad idea, and when the deal happened the Jets’ player tried to back track and say his comments were taken out of context??? Talk about starting off on the wrong foot with a new teammate.
I do the same with emails. If I realize I am worked up about a situation and I am composing an email, I will not hit send right away. I finish the email, save the draft, and move onto something else (even getting a cup of coffee is good). Fifteen minutes later, I reread the message and often find myself clarifying my message or toning down my wording. Don’t let an emotional, electronic outburst hurt your career.
Forever and Wherever
When one posts a tirade on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, WordPress or other social media site, the posting never truly disappears. The internet is a public forum and with retweets, ‘likes’, ‘tags’, ‘pingbacks’, etc. – your comments can be redistributed to a much wider audience than you originally intended, making it impossible to ever fully track down. Talk about trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
No Expectation of Privacy
There are hundreds of stories out there about people who were fired from their job due to postings they made on Facebook (or other social media site). This can be a negative post about one’s boss, an ethnically derogatory comment, or posting where you may reveal proprietary information. And while some employees have been successful in their efforts to sue for illegal termination, I would venture a guess that the percentages are not in favor of the fired as most individuals do not have enough evidence or the financial resources to sue a former employer.
Even if an employer cannot fire you over negative comments about the workplace or your supervisor, if the employer does discover these postings, your work environment can become less supportive (ie: your boss will make you #1 on the hit list to be fired or create such an unhealthy work environment so as to make you quit). Not saying it is right, just illuminating some of the potential risks of improper posts on the internet.
So if you are having a bad day and need to vent, go for a walk or call a friend, but do as Herm Edwards recommends and “Don’t Press Send”.