Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dignity and Facebook

Every once in a while I catch myself saying ...

"I can't believe some of the stuff people are willing to throw up on a Facebook page. Don't they realize their verbal vomit is out there for the whole world to see"?

You have said the same thing, I'm sure, but lately, this trend to disclose every waking thought a person has - no matter how private - seems to be getting worse. Not only do certain status updates undermine professional credibility, but you have to wonder how they might block any kind of karma the universe might want to send.

Recently, I noticed a female lawyer proclaim she is "giving up on men" after lamenting the day before she was without a date for the weekend. Another chronically single FB friend felt it necessary to not only change her status from being "in a relationship" to being "single", but also offer the follow-up pity-party commentary:

"If it seems too good to be true well...It probably is ... :("

Wasting no time, another half-dozen "friends" chime in and are quickly clicking and clucking away in on-line wallowing; anxious to share in their insecurities and desperation.

Sorry, but I can't help but wonder how these social media pity parties impact one's personal brand.

Let alone one's sense of self respect.

And when it comes to the issue of personal brand, how do you think the following status update would improve someone's chances of getting interviewed for a professional position with a well respected company?

"ya put ur right boob in...ya take ur right boob out...ya put ur left boob in ..and ya squish it all ta hell...ya do the mammogrammy and ya squish ur boobs around, thats what its all about..♫ My fav day of the year..NOT Especially when you are the president of the itty bitty titty committee...ouch...sigh...oh fun day! "

Would you believe a company that was potentially interested in interviewing that individual, decided not to do so.

Through it all, a single word comes to mind.


Or lack thereof.

In the dictionary you will find "Dignity" defined as: "The quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect". What you won't find is much of it on Facebook these days as the platform degenerates into a mosh of self-absorbed, self-promotion or self-flagellation.

Just to be clear, this is not the fault of the Facebook platform itself.

The responsbility lies with the people who abuse it.

And those who are determined to rise above the jabbering and yammering and utilize social media platforms for the greater good.

What do you think?

Dignity and Facebook.

Are they mutually exclusive?

Or can they coexist?

"Remember this ...that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life"

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Shannon said...

Hey G,
I always enjoy reading your blog and loved Nuts Bolts and a few loose screws BUT I'd have to disagree with you on this one.
FB is a personal space of one's own. Yes, one should consciously decide if what they say could impact something else. That is a decision one makes for oneself and should not be "judged".
It is a reflection of who you really are.
Why be fake and phony if it isn't a true reflection of who you are? Why not express and "keep it real".
One does not make another read their updates or even make then stay a "friend". Either you are on or off that person's bus. Transparency is being yearned for in everything and everyone today.
If you want to use that forum as a professional space where you self promote for fame and profit then yes, I agree, you have to consider your approach. That is not what the space is/was originally intended for n'est-ce pas?
For instance, I do not add anyone unless I know them personally. Period. I'd like to think many others are not disimilar, set privacy settings and chose thier "friends".
If this approach is taken, FB is not for the "world" to see. Twitter on the other hand - different story.
To close with a touch more verbal diarrhea, I, and perhaps other females out there, actually think the dreadful mammography profile update brings playful awareness to an important part of personal health care that can be quite easy to procrastinate about.
I look forward to catching some other opinions on this topic.

ANK said...

Good post Gair! Sadly the lack of dignity and decorum is not the "domain" of FB alone. Go to any public meeting, arena or mall and you can see it all played out in "real life". FB is a reflection of what is taking place all arouns us in society.
I agree that people need to think about what they post and they need to think before they speak, judge and act as well!
Keep up the great work!

Ken Mikalauskas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Mikalauskas said...

I couldn't agree with you more Shannon. With all due respect Gair, Facebook should be a place to express who you truly are. Why does everyone have to be so damn professional these days? Facebook friend culture is turning us into social politicians who are afraid to upset their massive friend pools. We've created a new form of online social anxiety. We're afraid to be rejected from the inner circle, our network. We are so career and money driven that we lose sight of reality. Where has the passion gone? Where are the punk rockers? What happened to Rebel Without a Cause? We need chaos to evoke some kind of change. If something stinks, we should feel free to say so. If great work is being accomplished, then let's embrace it. Why should we be afraid to express how we actually feel?
Thanks Gair.

Angie said...

Does the fact that no one proofreads their status updates or comments for spelling errors irritate you? Or is it just me?

Angie said...

Being real is one thing but posting your dirty laundry for all to see is another. If I'm embarrassed for you concerning your, on again off again relationship, or your drunken romps, hangovers, and personal relationship fights. I really wonder why you are not embarrassed about posting it? Is society really that loose that no one cares to keep personal things to them selves. Personally I think this behavior is dangerous. I don't want to live in an "anything goes" society.

Shannon said...

My 2 cents on proofreading comments and status updates -> That is an old school vs. new debate. Leave it up to spell check and English majors. Don't sweat the small stuff. Many others aren't. They are too busy kicking ass and taking names.