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Your Social Media Presence Matters: Tale of Two Pink Slips

Your Social Media Presence Matters: Tale of Two Pink Slips
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If you’re part of the Millenial or GenY factions in society who whine when some nitwit gets fired for posting something stupid online, it’s time to stop cowering behind your collective sense of superiority, dump the labels that guide your actions, and join the rest of us who take responsibility for our actions and who know that an 8th place finish isn’t worthy of a Blue Ribbon.

Don’t be this girl…

She’s 30 years old and her picture was taken by her 38 year-old boss. Both were fired (more here). Outrage by those who are not attorneys yet Freedom of Speech experts aside, all you need to do to figure out why their employer gave these two pink slips is to look at the Board of Directors of “Living Independently Forever”; see why the employees were fired?

These two weren’t born stupid but they sure were raised stupid – to a degree by their parents, their school systems, by the friends they associate with, by the social platforms that allow someone to be more outrageous than the next person then be RT’ed or Liked by others, and by the belief that private means private. In other words, they allowed themselves to be stupid.

At their ages, it makes sense that at least one neuronal element would have figured that at the very least taking the picture was in bad taste. Another neuronal element should have fired back with “No, no, no” as they were about to press when posting the picture to Facebook (another reason for Facebook quickly becoming the global repository for stupid). A final neuronal element should have flicked on the light switch when the posters reiterated their belief that “Oh, my Privacy settings will ensure that this remains private.”

For those who believe that nothing is sacred (read the Gawker comments) or that what “someone does on their personal time” is immune from “social laws”, please keep in mind that the human cost of all US Wars since 1776 is somewhere in the vicinity of 1.3 million Americans KIA and 1.6 million Americans wounded. Whether you believe it or not, you simply wouldn’t be able to make an ass of yourself or be a hipster or post stupid to Facebook or listen to the music of your choice if it weren’t for Americans putting themselves in the paths of bullets. At the very least, if you’re going to learn to respect something in this life respect those who died in creation of this great country – or for that matter, any great Democracy (please don’t bore me with the faults of our system; it will always be a work in progress and you can both vote and run for office if you want to do more).

Now…should these two have been fired? Absolutely not. I would have made them volunteer at a VA Hospital for a good period of time and write about their experiences. Helping to clean the amputated stumps of soldiers who lost limbs, console those with TBI and PTSD, change the bed linens of those who are permanently bedridden all come to mind.

While we must be intolerant of abject stupidity, we must also be tolerant of people who have yet to learn the real meaning of being an American. Since Civics is no longer taught in schools, some people just take longer.

My question is now: What will it take for this social nincompoopery to make a turn off the roadway that leads to a one-thousand foot cliff?

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I'm a straight-shootin' Old School | "New Cool" fan of creating the recruiting operations that combine honesty and performance-based hiring principles that do what they're supposed to do - create the talent foundations for great companies, retain great people and leaders, and drive performances. Simple.

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