Recently, there have been major developments on government spying on Americans through phone, email, and social media. Government is not the only group looking at personal social media accounts. We have soon discovered that anything that is posted online could be discovered by unintended audiences, especially employers.
An article on CNN features 10 stories of individuals who were fired based on their actions on social media. One story showcases a bitter anonymous barista’s blog featuring over 250 distasteful posts, yet 21,000 likes on Facebook. Needless to say, the power of social media turned this sour barista into an ex-barista. And she’s probably still bitter.
Taco Bell made headlines with a viral photo of its taco-licking employee. Taco Bell says the shells were disposed of, but who really knows. In any case, the damage has already been done. Taco Bell’s taco-licking employee was immediately fired and is no longer able to slobber on customer taco shells.
The article also posted a story about a bus driver in Georgia who lost his job for posting about a hungry middle school student. According to the bus driver, a student on his bus told him that he was unable to get lunch because he did not have the money to pay for it. The bus driver posted on the story on his Facebook page, along with his phone number, stating that he would come up with the forty cents needed to buy the student’s lunch. The post, which sounded like a mockery, got Johnny Cook in hot water with the superintendent and was ultimately fired.
After reading some of these stories, it’s important to know that what is posted online is not just for your eyes. Posting comments online can have permanent consequences, such as being terminated by your employer. For Taco Bell employee, I am thrilled that he posted the picture online because it gave customers an idea about what goes on in the kitchen. If he didn’t post the picture, his taco shell-licking antics would have just continued.
For stories such as the bus driver in Georgia, he shed light on a topic that is often out of mainstream media: hunger in the U.S. While the student states that his parents forgot to give him lunch money that day, many other students across the country do pass their days at school without lunch because their families cannot afford to give them lunch money. A Facebook page has been created to shed light on this phenomenon.
The bitter barista is also doing well! His blog continues to grow as it gains more followers. Bitter barista merchandise is being sold through the blog, and the blog is taking quotes from other bitter baristas or customers.
Whether it is the government or your boss watching over you, be sure that you are comfortable with anyone seeing what you are posting. Just like social media agencies use networks to promote businesses, individuals use social media to promote their own ideas. Next time you post on social media, make sure you think of the consequences and use posts as a way to propel your mission forward.