Friday, August 12, 2011

Personal Public Persona

Earlier this week I authored a piece about social media in potential hire profiling. The responses have been varied but one point has become certain:

Without your boss sitting on your lap at all times, the choices you make are your own!

This sentiment is not specific to social media but it may be the area in which it is most prevalent. Tony Bruno was suspended this week for his choices and many others have suffered an even worse fate. As Erica Albright stated, "the Internet is written in ink". So unavoidably true. Your company cannot police your every thought, your opinions may fall into the wrong inbox, and interpreting the mood of the written word is very difficult. We are not governed by the platform or the organization with which we are affiliated. We can only monitor ourselves. This is a massive responsibility!

I don't believe that Tony Bruno is a racist, he just got caught up in the moment. This week I saw that a person trying to help another revealed confidential mental health information about that person. The intention was good but the after effect served to further limit the person she was trying to help. I saw another post asking sorority women to disable their facebook pages during their recruitment period..? That's a super secret society.

I don't know about you but I'm not willing to give up that easily. I strongly believe that every company should be aligned with their core values (from CEO to Intern). The most prominent core value of any company is: TRUST! If you want a productive and empowered is essential. Everyone appreciates being given the club with the power to swing it as they wish. No one likes rules, restrictions and/or regulations (necessary as they may be).

This social media thing is not going away. In fact, more people communicate through facebook than email these days. We have an opportunity to use the power of our personal influence for good...why ignore it or attempt to regulate it. Like anything else, we learn from our mistakes in social media. We stop putting down others in blog chats, we stop voicing our opinions after 4 beers, and we refrain from jokes that may be conceived as bullying.

For the first time in my professional lifetime the villagers have more influence than the king. The voice of the people has never been stronger. Twitter is the voice of the NFL players union, blogs speak louder than the New York Times and Facebook has more citizens than most countries. We must understand that with great power comes great responsibility. We need to be aware that our words have consequences and that they cannot be erased. Accept the privilege and proceed with riotous intent!

It is certain that social media will improve our communication. We will learn what to say and when to say it. We will stop protecting our words and share them. We will grow, in honesty, together!

Don't Forget to Remember!


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