Posted: Thursday 23 June 2011
I have a friend (we'll call her "Sheila") who recently lost her job. And as much as I love Sheila, I have to say that it was 100 percent her own fault. Now, you may be thinking to yourself "Wow, she probably slacked off at work or called in sick all the time. I don't have to read the rest of this article because I never do that." However, Sheila was the perfect employee. She was always early; she gave 110 percent, and she hardly ever called out sick. So what did she do? She took a stupid picture. And furthermore, she wasn't even the one who took the picture, she just happened to be in the picture in an compromising situation.
So now you are probably totally confused, but I bet you are starting to get an inkling of what happened. That's right: it has something to do with Facebook. She went to a party and she took a really dumb picture which her friend happened to caption "Sheila's boss is a horse's a**." Bad move. Sheila didn't post the picture; her friend did. And then she tagged Sheila. And the photo was not private. Not surprisingly, a few days later it circulated in the office and Sheila lost her job.
So here's the thing: it's not entirely fair. Sheila can have whatever opinion she wants about her boss, and she wasn't partying when she was supposed to be working. And worse, she didn't post the picture! But ultimately, it led to a problem that resulted in the loss of her job. This is a worst-case example of what can happen when social networking goes too far, so make sure that your friends understand what types of things are okay with you to post online and what things should remain "undercover" or, at a minimum, marked "PRIVATE, KEEP OUT!" Otherwise you could end up in the same lousy situation that my friend Sheila did and be out of a job.