I was reading a very interesting blog today from Jeff Bullas; 30 Things You Should Not Share on Social Media.
He mentions some seriously idiotic things that people post on facebook and following close behind on twitter. They tend to forget that their posts are open to public viewing and all it takes is for someone to take offence or perhaps a work colleague to notice a detrimental comment and ooops you could lose your job, or at the least face disciplinary action. I was aghast at some of the stuff people write about and call me naive or ignorant, but I did not think that people actually post pictures of themselves inebriated or comments on their bodily functions!
One of the replies on the blog from a reader commented that because of the apparently virtual anonimous space of our computers, the barriers of propriety are breaking down and things you would not dream of saying to someone’s face, are shared via the virtual world. Stories have a way of spreading and going viral as it is known today. I was thinking about the various items that Jeff mentioned on his blog and the power of social media for spreading the word so to speak. But what of the age old methods from the past: gossip. Gossip passed on becomes rumour, and no less damaging albeit on a smaller scale. Imagine my suprise then when I opened my email box today to find this article from my sister:
“Once upon a time an old man spread rumours that his neighbour was a thief. As a result, the young man was arrested. Days later the young man was proven innocent. After being released he sued the old man for wrongly accusing him.
In court the old man told the Judge: ”They were just comments, didn’t harm anyone.” The judge, before passing sentence on the case, told the old man: “Write all the things you said about him in a piece of paper. Cut them up and on the way home, throw the pieces of paper out. Tomorrow, come back to hear your sentence.”
Next day, the judge told the old man: “Before receiving the sentence, you will have to go out and gather all the pieces of paper that you threw out yesterday. ” The old man said: “I can’t do that! The wind spread them and I won’t know where to find them.”
The judge then replied: “In the same way, simple comments may destroy the honour of a man to such an extent that one is not able to fix it. If you can’t speak well of someone, rather don’t say anything”.”
Which brings me to the article from Jeff and the list; beware of what you say on public forums; if you can’t speak well of yourself or someone else, rather don’t say anything at all.