Ah, social media… The cause and solution to all of life’s problems… I remember a time when life was far simpler. Maybe I’m aging myself here, but it’s true. Throughout my childhood, there was no internet, no smart devices and no “big brother” watching everyone’s every move and uploading it, as soon as you fell flat on your face. I’m actually pretty grateful for that last part and like most of my generation, I am eternally grateful that all the stupid things I did in my youth haven’t been documented on YouTube or Facebook.
That being said, the advent of modern internet changed the game in a. Lot of different ways for the world. Besides having the world’s information at one’s fingertips, which is not ALWAYS a good thing, communication with friends near and far became an instant possibility. I remember the days of ICQ… Ah, good ol’ ICQ… This was an instant messenger program that one could use on the computer to “chat” with other ICQ users. Unlike modern messaging apps, you had to know the handle of the person you wanted to add and you both had to be on for the program to be used. The familiar chime of receiving a message still rings in my ears, though…
Then came MSN Messenger… A bit more modernized and tethered to one’s free, web-based email accounts, it had a number of features that previous programs didn’t. With the advent of the smart phone came apps, and all the glorious social media-related bullshit that goes along with it. Although my post today is intended as a bit of a rant against what seems to be an unfortunate trend, it’s also allowing me a brief walk down memory lane, proving that even when discussing something negative, there’s some positive to be found. But I digress…
One of the issues I’ve noticed in recent months is the use of TikTok. Yes, yes, it’s been used for longer than that; that isn’t the point. TikTok was developed less than a decade ago and is a social media platform primarily used for documenting short videos, music clips, memes, you name it! It’s popularity has skyrocketed, with many of my friends trying to encourage me to use it. No, thank you but the app is no different than anything else that gets released and becomes popular. In the years to come, there will likely be something else that gets released. Such is modern life.
The trend I’m referring to, is something I ironically noticed through Facebook. Although mainly there, I’ve also come to realize that various news articles feature this unfortunate trend on news pages, as well. I’m talking about employees and staff recording TikTok videos of themselves doing bad things on the job or ranting against customers, managers, the public… whatever! This surprises me, because we live in a world where once you put something out there, it’s out there. There’s no taking it back.
My question is, what do these folks expect that they’ll do if their current employer sees this? Some of the antics I’ve seen clips of, would certainly be fireable offences. What’s even worse, since it’s now out in the world, if one were to get fired for these clips, how would one avoid having prospective employers see it and refuse to hire them as well? Given that Google and Facebook searches are a pretty common tool when looking to hire someone, it would make sense that searching for such clips would be a logical next step.
Despite my love/hate relationship with social media and its many forms, it’s here to stay with no danger of disappearing. What’s important to bear in mind is that there is n going back when it comes to posting things. Once it hits the internet, it’s up there somewhere, forever. This is why it’s important to be mindful of what one does online and what one posts. It can mean the difference between success and roadblocks. In my time, we had the benefit of telling stories about our rambunctious youth. Nowadays, one’s foolish decisions are out there of all the world to see. Not so great and a hell of a thing to try and explain to one’s grandchildren someday. Food for thought… ☯️