Thursday, May 3, 2012

To post or not to post

By: Cole Buergi, Vice President of Business Development, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

I grow more amazed everyday with what people are willing to post on their Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites. I’m all for free speech, but there comes a point when people need to realize that what they say has “real” consequences.

If you’re unsure of what I’m referring to, simply visit the USA Today website and click on any story. At the bottom of each story are Facebook comments from people throughout the world. Some of the comments are very insightful, others humorous and then there are some that are downright mean, racist or threatening.

It’s the later comments that I often wonder how people have the “chutzpah” to place online for all to read. Do they not realize that the comments they make are a direct reflection of who they are? Or that others are watching and making judgments about them?

Equally important, a comment made on the Internet just once, is there forever. That’s something to really think about. What you may write as a silly prank or in the heat of the moment may come back to haunt you in your professional career. In some instances, it may have an immediate impact. There have been employees terminated from their jobs for posting things that were not appropriate or fit with their company’s guidelines.

The next time you’re about to post a comment; take a moment to think about how it will reflect on you or if it’s damaging to others. What do you think? Have you read comments that make you shake your head in disbelief?

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