Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reader submitted topic: "The snowball effect on Facebook"

There was once a girl who got on Facebook during the day from work, and updated her status. In her status she called out several of her coworkers, by first name, and talked all kinds of shit about them. In the status update, she also mentioned that the company she works for was filing bankruptcy and would be shut down within the next few months. This was not yet public knowledge.

Someone on her friend's list who worked for a competor saw this status update, and showed his boss. This someone, also "shared" the status update of the girl so all his coworkers could see, who then in turn shared it. Lather, rinse, repeat. Before you knew it, it was not just public knowledge that this company was going to file bankruptcy/shut down, but it was a top story of the news that night since it was not a small company. This was very problematic to the company shutting down, as they had counted on income from those last few months to help pay employee salaries, and other things.

The girl, after posting said update, went about her day and didn't give it a second thought. When she went in the next day, however, she was more than surprised to find her boss was furious. She was fired on the spot, (yes, she was losing her job anyway, but that is not the point of this story. keep up) escorted out of the building, and was unable to collect unemployment. She ended up losing her apartment and her car, and had to move back in with her parents, at age 35.

What is the point of this tale, you're asking? This is just one of many, many examples of the snowball effect of things said on Facebook. You may think that what you are saying is "private" because you have something posted set to be viewed as "friends only". There is no such thing, and that is the truth. I can almost guarantee you have at least one "Frienemy" lurking in the shadows (I will be posting about the frienemy...be patient darlings) If you post something on Facebook (or the internet in general) you can expect that somehow, someway, it can and will become public. This can be done through screenshots, through "sharing" a status, or through copy and paste. nothing, absolutely nothing on the internet is private, or even friends only. This goes for messages on Facebook, email, status updates, and pictures. yes, even pictures are not safe. And guess what? with the new "smart phones" out there that can screenshot text messages, text messages are no longer private.

The point of this post is the snowball effect of things said on Facebook can be devastating. Nothing is private. If what you have to say is something that not everyone should know, you have no business posting about it. It's up to you to be responsible and act like a responsible adult. If you are irresponsible, you WILL be responsible for the snowball effect of what you post. I promise the person/people it affects will come back to you as the originator.

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