Natasha Koifman, President of NKPR, wrote this article published by Huffington Post Canada, where she stated all of the reasons she thought that social media had a positive impact on our personal relationships. She argues that one third of all marrying couples have met each other online and that “we no linger rely on friend’s introductions or blind dates”. She goes on to talk about how social media sites like LinkedIn helps individuals build a professional network and can help you improve your career. She believes Twitter is the best way to reach out to a company for customer service and she said that Tinder allows for a, “no-strings-attached flirting experience.” Koifman expresses that the bottom line of social media is that it’s a form of expression and influences how we share our personalities.
I think that Koifman proposed some very good arguments as to why social media is helpful to an individual to connect with others. But at what cost? How strong are relationships that you may develop online? Social media allows people to express themselves but it can skew the way someone sees them. You can edit and crop and use privacy settings to almost live a double, or even a triple life if you wanted to. I’m not saying everyone uses social media dishonestly, but with things like a ‘Finsta’ on the rise, who’s to say that something like that isn’t a good expression of personality or just a place for someone to air out dirty laundry and, in some cases, cyberbullying? Sure social media is good to stay connected in theory, but is the slight deterioration of face-to-face interaction taking a toll on how we view reality and connection?
There’s a lot of questions you can ask about just how much social media may be affecting interpersonal communication. But I believe it is such a new phenomena, that we wont know of any negative affects until they have already become omnipresent. Not to have a pessimistic view, but we probably wont miss any of the ‘old ways’ of communicating once we become so saturated with digital social media intake.
In this article posted by CNN, it showed 10 cases in which employees learned the hard way about what to post and not to post on social media. In all ten cases someone, in some way was fired for something said within the post. In all ten instances, the post on social media could have been avoided and was completely inappropriate.
I honestly think that all of these people got what they deserve because the posts could have been avoided and were massively inappropriate. For instance, a former MLB player tweeted out after a baseball game “Congratulations to all the dirty Mexicans.” Like are you serious? There is absolutely no reason why that should ever be posted on social media. I understand that it is a personal account and people should be able to post what they want on their personal account, but there is a time and a place for everything, especially when you’re a professional. As a professional, you are held to a higher standard than people who aren’t, because you have people who look up to you and try to emulate what you do. On top of that, anyone can access your social media so kids can easily see what people are posting.
The author of the articles does not think that these people should get in trouble on the grounds that it is on their personal account and that is away from work. I understand where is he coming because people always say we need to separate our work life and personal life. I do realize this, but anyone can from work can access your personal life because its social media and that is not private. People need to understand that anyone can see what is posted on social media networks and that there really is no way to hide that. So again, I completely disagree with the author of the article.
To summarize, I think that the people in these ten cases were completely wrong and should have been fired for their posts, and this goes against what the article states. Social media isn’t private and people look up to professionals so you cannot just be willy-nilly and say whatever you want without consequences. People also can’t separate work life and personal life on social media because again anyone can access that.
Its no surprise to us that businesses and co-workers look at employee’s posts on social media. But just how much of a look should they be taking? This Article by the Huffington Post from 2015, describes a 27 year-old woman who lost her job at a day care by posting: “I just hate being around a lot of kids”. Now, as this post may not have been wise considering this woman was working with children on a daily basis, did it still warrant her being fired?
This is all too often a situation where someone posts something they believe to be harmless on Facebook or some other social media about their job and they end up being fired. But is this an overreach of the company?
I have to say it is not. I know that social media was designed to keep friends and peers in close contact and give them a platform to express their ideas and communicate with one another. But Facebook and other social media sites are (for the most part) public records of an individual. Just as someone would be held accountable for their actions or words in public, the same holds true for how they act online. In the case of the 27 year-old daycare employee, she also posted that she, “hates working at a daycare”. I think she wouldn’t say anything like that if it was a face-to-face encounter with her entire Facebook audience. Posting on Facebook is like giving a presentation in a lecture hall and the audience is everyone that can see your posts. In this woman’s case, her profile was public and her post started to get a lot of negative reactions from people who knew she was a daycare employee. This is ultimately how she ended up being fired by her job.
If you think about my analogy (the presenter in the lecture hall), you will understand where I base my argument. Social media is a platform to which an individual projects himself or herself online. I don’t think that it is an overstepping of boundaries when a business evaluates their employees on their posts and how they represent themselves online. We all evaluate other based on how they represent themselves online (Trump, Kanye, Bernie). Its something that, as humans, we cant help. We are constantly judging and making assumptions based on the information we are given. So if someone is posting something negative about their job, we will have a negative opinion of that job/occupation, which is potentially detrimental to the business itself.
Is cyber bullying actually a thing? This has been a big topic in conversation within the bullying spectrum. When people get bullied it is harder for people to stop it since a lot of things are harder in person. Though when you are sitting in front of a screen how can you be bullied? Tyler, the Creator, rap artist, had a controversial tweet where he said “hahahahah how is cyber bullying real hahahaha just walk away from the screen like close your eyes haha”. This tweet received over 330 thousand retweets and sparked great controversy. As said in an article on cyberbullying.org, “Oh no. Some girl said to me in an email ‘ur fat lulz. I’m scarred for the rest of my life.’ Nowhere NEAR as bad as getting hit, punched, abused, ect.” As someone who has been bullied in the past, I can definitely relate to this.
It is true, it is as easy to just turn off your computer screen and just walk away. Yes, words do hurt, but if you want to stop seeing/hearing this stuff just turn off the monitor and walk away. When you’re being bullied in person, the antagonist can literally keep coming at you, screaming at you, even abuse or assault you. It is hard to get away from that, and not many people are willing to step in front of a bully. While you are online, you do not need anyone to step in to help you out because you can just close to monitor.
Trolls on the Internet find it funny to get a raise out of people. A study from psychologytoday.com showed that most trolls show signs of signs of sadistic, psychopathic, narcissistic behaviors. The biggest thing is to not fall into their trap and don’t let them feed off of your reactions. When people show reaction it gives these trolls a reason to keep going, and continue to try make people upset.
I don’t understand how cyber bullying is a thing, it is very easy to just walk away from a computer and not deal with the bullying. In reality, bullying is hard to stop, but online it just comes down to the willingness to walk away from your computer. If you don’t just walk away, you risk falling into these trolls traps when they try to make you upset. From now on just try to shut the monitor off and walk away, and you’ll see the bullying stop.