We all have that one friend that tends to share way too much information on Facebook (in my case, it’s likely about 40% of people on my friends list that are guilty of this, if not more). With the rise of social media, it became quick and easy to post your thoughts and share them with hundreds of people in a matter of seconds. While this seems like a convenient way to connect with others, sharing too much information could end up costing you.
If you had a bad day at work, it might be tempting to hop on Facebook and write a scathing post about your job, co-workers, boss or customers, but doing so could get you in serious trouble or even fired. Take a look at the story about Massachusetts high school teacher June Talvitie-Siple, who was asked to resign after posts emerged on her Facebook page calling her students “germ bags” and describing the parents as “snobby” and “arrogant.” While she says she posted these comments out of frustration, her employer was not too happy about the backlash that occurred because of the post.
Even if you aren’t having a particularly rough day at work – maybe you even like your job – a simple social media post could lead you down the unforeseeable path of unemployment. A prime example of this happened to a group of miners in Australia back when the Harlem Shake was a huge dance craze (if you’re unfamiliar with this particular trend, you can check out the miners’ video here). While it seemed like the group was just having some fun, it was reported that “up to 15 workers at the Agnew gold mine in the Goldfields have been sacked and banned for life from every Barminco [company] project in the world after performing the Harlem Shake dance craze on site.” According to reports, it was due to a lack of safety concerns that the men were fired, but what started as seemingly harmless fun resulted in consequences that left several people without a job.
These are just 2 out of many instances where social media had a negative impact on someone’s career. If you’re curious to read about more similar stories like the ones above, check out this article from People Magazine.
The lesson to be learned here is that you should always be cautious about what you post online. This doesn’t mean you should avoid social media entirely, of course, but if you’re about to make a post, just take a moment to think what could be the consequences if I post this? It’s amazing how much trouble people can avoid if they think before they post.