Netiquette. It Doesn’t Apply to Me, Right?

It was just a comment.  A short little quip in response to someone’s post on their blog or facebook, or a reply to a tweet.  So what?  Right?  Well, it could have detrimental effects.  And it may not even be an immediate effect.  It may come up months or even years later to bite you.

Consider this situation…

You’ve been having a few drinks with your friends one night when you decide to check out a blog about football and opt to leave a comment.  In the comment you let out a racial slur, even if you did mean it jokingly.  However, no one reading your comment can see your body language from merely reading your remark.  Perhaps too, you included a number of vulgarities in the comment, not thinking anything of it at the time, as you were intoxicated and with your buddies.  A couple years later you’re applying for a job.  The boss is looking at your resume and is considering you for an interview.  He decides to open an Internet browser and do a Google search on your name to see if you’re involved in any associations or charity work, etc.  That’s when the blog comment shows up in the results.  After reading your comment, he gets a negative image of you and without you even being able to defend yourself, decides not to pursue the interview any longer.  You just missed out on an opportunity for a great job.

There are security settings in Twitter and Facebook that show/hide your comments based on the audience you choose.  But, in Twitter you cannot control if someone retweets your original message.  And, with Facebook you may have accidentally set the “Friends of Friends” permission option preventing you from suppressing your comments to just those you know best.  Blogs are usually wide open and anyone can read your comments.

What may seem fun one day, like posting a youtube video of you and your friends doing shots at a party, may wind up on your boss’ computer screen months or years later.  Again, if it’s on youtube, anyone can find it.

Sometimes I am quite taken aback with the comments some people share through social media.  My general philosophy is don’t write anything in a comment that you wouldn’t say in front of a room full of friends, peers, associates and strangers (of any culture, race or religion).  However, if it’s worded in a professional, politically correct manner, you should be ok.  Sure it’s frustrating at times not to “say it like it is,” but you’ve got to consider your future.  Keep a clean reputation, you may need it one day.


About brianwawryk
PMP and Prince2 certified project manager.

6 Responses to Netiquette. It Doesn’t Apply to Me, Right?

  1. well furthermore appear to accept as factual that anything they manage or state on their own time should not ever sway their job or job prospects. It does, as you state, show what kind of individual they are, even if they can portray

  2. Richard Kreitz says:

    What if you always use a pseudonym name when you post comments so it is not traced back to you?

    Or what happens if you maliciously use someone elses name to post comments you with to hide behind?

  3. Cindy says:

    People, especially younger adults, believe that privacy settings protect them from the very scenario that you mention. They also seem to believe that whatever they do or say on their own time should never affect their job or job prospects. It does, as you say, indicate what type of person they are, even if they can portray professionalism at the start of a time clock. Our Global Village does have drawbacks. But I still love the Internet!

  4. Dave says:

    Speaking of inappropriate, what’s she doing with her mouth? I kind of like it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: