I’m sure there are millions of people out there who have been bitten in the ass by a socially awkward or politically incorrect Facebook post that they have made.
It happens all the time, and in unfortunate cases, it sabotages our professional lives.
What you thought was a simple comment intended for your immediate social circle somehow gets transformed into a monster that has the ability to go viral in seconds—making your news everyone’s news.
Take for example, a pediatric nurse in Spokane Washington, who (very innocently) decided to post about her first successful circumcision attempt on her (public) Facebook page.
“Did My First Circumcision Friday.. Watch out boys…here I come.”
Awkward? Inappropriate? Or no big deal?
While I’m sure she was totally excited about her career accomplishment, she has apparently also infuriated an anti-circumcision group on Facebook, aptly calling themselves Cutting Culture. These people are revolted by her behavior, claiming she isn’t fit to be a nurse and shouldn’t be practicing, as expressed in a slew of disparaging comments on their Facebook page.
I’m sure the poor woman is probably kicking herself right about now—but should she have to?
I don’t know that reading a post like that from one of my friends would have bothered me—I would have probably congratulated them or something. I’m not a person who is obsessed with weird moral standards, but we all know that there are of plenty of people out there who are.
So was this post unprofessional? I mean, it’s not like she named the kid she performed the procedure on, or posted his before and after photo. Right?
I think the whole thing is pretty silly, actually… and I am not going to bore you with a conversation about morals, but what sort of floors me with a story like this, is just how powerful social media is.
I have seen so many people get hurt, weird drama get started, and in the case of this poor nurse, get their asses handed to them.
Your whole world can be turned upside down…because of a Facebook post?
You better believe it.
It’s fun and useful to play the social media game, and it has become a highly effective method of communication and connection.
But now, more than ever, it is becoming imperative for all of us out there to watch our backs with what we are posting. The days where you can just post whatever is floating around in your head without consequences are over.
I think it’s easier for some people than others to get away with extreme content, but if you are a professional that has access to or deals with delicate information, maybe you should think twice about what you are going to announce online. For no other reason than to avoid the possible backlash from some person or group that will jump on any opportunity to take you down.
We live in a time where everyone is online all day, and all night.
So count on the fact that good or bad, there is always someone out there watching and waiting.
Choose wisely how much of an open book you want or are prepared to be.
Natalie Avakian is a black sheep Armenian girl born in Hollywood, California. She is a 5 Planet Gemini who loves to write, make music, take photographs, and teach yoga. When presented with choices, she opts for the road less traveled and moves to the beat of her own drum. She loves the sun, the color pink, ice cream, hot showers, the ocean, red toe nails, and roller skates. She has recently returned to her home in Venice Beach, California after spending the last year traveling around the world with her husband. She believes in magic. You can find her at The Divine Disco or follow her on Twitter @thedivinedisco.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel