In my opinion, the invention of the social media is the biggest breakthrough ever in human interaction. The right use can achieve previously impossible results. One mistake, however, may make us lose everything in career, love and life. So, let's scroll down.
Must we demean that person?
I saw a post in which this person accused a potential client of stealing his ideas because they listened to his pitch but did not buy. He berated them using the meanest words heard in the corporate community. He did not actually name the persons but I'm sure that other potential clients would never want to hear his presentation.
Do we call other people stupid?
Once, a person working with me posted a cartoon showing a customer making a silly comment. He captioned it with "Clients, don't be stupid. " In the thread I commented "our clients are not stupid. They are partners we enjoy working with. " He did a lot of explaining to me and I do not need to explain here why what he did was wrong.
Smart and arrogant?
I know some people who have a superiority complex. They find faults in almost anything, they sound like they know the answer to every question and that they are smarter than everyone. They are even amused by their own sarcasm. I would like them to know that people don't like people who judge too much because people don't want to be with people who might judge them.
Can we try a little humility?
Some years ago, netizens debated on a club's policy that seemed to distinguish people by social status. An officer of the establishment later on posted an irritated and dismissive comment. He asked why it should be an issue at all.
My admiration goes to this airline that was publicly criticized by an international model. She described it as the world's worst in service. The airline calmly apologized to the passenger and explained to the public that the cause of the disappointment was a procedure inevitable at that time.
Do we really need to like that link?
There is a shared article we like so we click on it. What if the article is proposing a thought that our boss or company really, really disagrees with ? Of course, it is admirable to stand up for our convictions but we must be aware of the risks and the consequences.
If it is important for our company to remain neutral on certain issues, it is best to stay neutral also on social media. Nothing is more neutral than silence.
Can we control our temper?
Some people angrily narrate on social media what just happened to them in traffic or in the elevator. Others may complain about officemates who don't deliver. Be advised that hiring managers prefer applicants who are calm under distress and who appear to be good team players.
Have we revealed some company secrets?
Sometimes we post pictures of us at work or we may share some bits of information on what we are up to. It is common to forget that our competitors may find clues about our secret project. When working on anything important, we need to remind one another to save the pictures and the stories for the the right time.
Do we criticize our own company?
Believe it or not, there are people who say bad things about their own company. These whiners complain about the work, the pay, the system, the management, the product, anything. I'm sure, our boss will be happy to relieve us of our pain by showing us the door.
There are some of us who sometimes talk about how tired we are and how much work we have to finish or how much sleep we have to lose. We may think of it as a harmless description of our situation, but the boss might see it as a malicious criticism of their management style.
How do we complain about products and services?
If our company's business depends on acquiring clients or partners, we must be careful about expressing our disappointments over products and services. We never know when we are going to need their business. If we have a valid complaint, we can bring it up to the Department of Trade. Better yet, contact the complaints department of the concerned company.
How do we look in the pictures?
In our most drunken moments, we are most reckless with our poses. We shouldn't be as careless in showing them to the public. Companies prefer working with people who know self-control in any situation.
There are times when we can pull down along with us some of our friends. It is not wise to post pictures of them when they are not in their public-ready best. ( For example, I want to be seen only from my favorite angle and with the flattest possible inhaled-in belly. )
When we are having fun, we tend to be more touchy-feely , albeit innocently, with our friends. But our partners may not find them innocent at all. Good judgement saves careers and relationships.
As though it's not bad enough that we expose our own weaknesses, our social media activities may also destroy the reputation of other people. I suggest that we be less harsh on others because they have loved ones who will be hurt and embarrassed.
This article may sound like a manual on how to be polite and proper. Okay, it is also good to have a sense of outrage, to fight for our rights and to demand for the best or for what is fair. We only need to know what we are willing to lose for what we may gain.
The internet reaches the whole world at beyond-human speeds. We must take our time, really so sweetly, before we click on that button.
If you have concerns about your job or if you wish to suggest a topic, you may email me at [email protected]
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About the Author:
Robert Labayen spent 22 years in advertising prior to joining ABS-CBN in 2004. He was VP-Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi and Executive Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson, two of the country's leading ad agencies. He is currently the Head of Creative Communications Management at ABS-CBN. His job involves inspiring people to be their best. He is a writer, painter and songwriter.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.