How to get Fired: Social Media Edition

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I love a good PR scandal. Well, when it's not happening to me that is. There is a lot to be learned from these scandals to ensure the same thing doesn't happen to you. However, it continues to surprise me how many individuals do not learn these lessons, leaving them to continue to be reckless when they tweet, post, and make comments.

One situation involved Ms. Justine Sacco, former PR executive of the New York-based internet empire InterActive Corp. On December 20, 2013, Sacco tweeted out the following message:

Image courtesy of The Guardian

To make the situation worse (as if that were possible), Sacco tweeted this comment out right before boarding an 11-hour flight from London to Cape Town. Eleven hours with no way to remove the tweet or issue a public apology gave Sacco the award of being the latest example of the power of Twitter, and its ability to destroy those who cause offense through unthinking use of the social media site. Shortly after landing, Sacco became very aware of what she had done and issued the following public statement:

"Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet" (Sacco, 2013).

A more recent example of Twitter's almighty power, includes Jet's Pizza, a teen girl, and her Twitter account. Less than enthused to begin her first day on the job, Texas teen, Cella, takes her thoughts to Twitter (naturally):

Image courtesy of Gawker

Fortunately for Cella, her supervisor found the bold tweet and responded:

Image courtesy of Gawker

And another one bites the dust. While I enjoy these extremely public breakdowns (for educational purposes, of course), I can't help but wonder why they continue to happen. Has our memory left us, along with our ability to use discretion? Social media is not the problem. For without its users, it would cease to exist. Before sharing anything about anything on social media outlets, just ask yourself one question: "will I be okay with this 2, 5, 10 years from now?"

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