May 14, 2015

So I joined the social media forefront

Well, not really.  I just added a Twitter account to this place.  Of course, it's @meriwhen.

Mind you, this isn't my first Twitter account.  My original Twitter account is circa 2007, in use before Twitter even got on the map.  I also have an account for professional reasons.  Then there's this one.

You're welcome to follow me, but don't hold me to high entertainment standards.  More than likely it'll be random thoughts, promoting forum threads, and re-tweets of things I found interesting.  I've seen how dangerous social media can be to one's career and reputation, and I have no desire to kill either of mine by a careless choice of words.  So I plan keep things relatively innocuous there, like I do here on this blog.

The Internet is full of the news articles about people getting fired or raked over the coals for something they posted on Facebook/Twitter/Blogger/et al.  They posted something they shouldn't have, or they posted a bad/tasteless joke, or an inflammatory remark, or something racially/religiously/politically charged, or shared way too much information.  Perhaps it was even something that they thought would be funny or interesting, but the universe thought otherwise.   Whenever I think of Internet missteps, I always think of that nursing student who posted the picture of the placenta.  I wonder what ever became of her.

I recommend reading So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson.  It's a very interesting read about how easy social media makes it to call someone out on something they did:  you can name and shame them in about 10 seconds...and anonymously, no less.  And the Internet being the Internet, once something is posted on it, it's out there forever.  Even if it's taken down right away, it's very possible that it's already been crawled, cached, copied or (screen)capped.

There's several case studies in there about actual people who have been publicly chastised.   It's amazing the damage that social media can do to a person and their reputation,  how fast that damage can happen, and how out of control the stone-throwing can get.  They don't call it a Twitter lynch mob for nothing.
 
What isn't in Ronson's book--but is a very interesting follow-up story--is that one of the people who called out someone for a rather tasteless tweet (her story is in the book) was in turn shamed for something HE posted.  He make a joke about bullying that backfired on him; he couldn't believe that people would think he was condoning bullying.  But they did...

Of course, he now has quite a bit more sympathy for the woman who he helped bring down.  Funny how being on the wrong end of the bulls-eye will do that to you.

All of this will make you think twice before you post anything online.

In other news, I found a PALS class and registered for it.   I've got just over three weeks to brush up on pediatric codes

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