I’ll admit it, I’m somewhat of a newbie when it comes to social media.
Even though I was sort of late to the social media party, I have become a huge fan and user of Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, podcasts and the rest.
Facebook in particular has become a huge boon to my radio show. It’s been a source of show ideas, feedback and constructive criticism to help me improve my radio show. It has become (like my blog and Insiders Club newsletter) an outpost and extension of my radio show.
Additionally, it’s been a great way to stay connected to my “Dom Nation” listeners…believe me, when I come to about 11:59 AM on the clock and have to wrap up my show, I used to think, “now what am I going to do for the next 21 hours until my ON THE AIR light goes on?”
Yet, in the midst of this social media phenomenon, I see a lot of anti-social behavior.
And it ain’t pretty.
You’re Out of the Family Business
I’m a huge fan of “The Godfather” movies. One of my favorite scenes is when Michael Corleone, the new Godfather, tells his brother-in-law Carlo Rizzi that “you’re out of the family business.” A few minutes later, Carlo soon finds out how permanent that expulsion is!
Just prior to writing this, I decided to inform a Facebook connection that he was “out of the family business” and I permanently blocked him.
His crime? He posted a vulgar image on my wall.
This was not his first offense. I have tolerated his nonsense for quite some time and he had been previously warned.
The picture was the last straw. It was inappropriate and tasteless. In addition to being offensive to me, it also shows up in the news feeds of my 4,200+ Facebook friends. So my name gets associated with his stupidity.
I am sure all of us who have been on Facebook have had similar experiences. People think they’re being funny when they post a tasteless or offensive image.
Some people just don’t get it, I guess.
Whenever I block someone, I usually post about it on Facebook. I want to make sure people know I have standards when it comes to generally accepted behavior on my Facebook wall. That way, there can be no surprise if I call someone on a post, image or comment that is out of bounds.
My standards are pretty simple, I think:
- No vulgar or crude language
- No attacking other people for their personal beliefs
- No insults
- No offensive images
I make it clear that my Facebook wall, my Twitter page and even my blog are natural extensions of my home. If some jerk barged into my dinner party uninvited and started directing their obnoxious behavior toward me and my guests, I would grab him by the scruff of their neck and toss them out the door.
But sadly, some people do not get it, even after you call them out on their offensive behavior. A normal person would step back and be horrified they behaved poorly and overstepped the bounds of social good taste.
The social media trolls all seem to lack the self-awareness gene that prevents them from looking in the mirror and recognize their own boorish behavior. They are indifferent and/or indignant.
At least for most of this, we can take care of the problem with a few mouse clicks. What about the poor souls who have to put up with these clowns every single day? I feel sorry for their family members, co-workers and the neighbors who have to put up with these self-absorbed fools.
The Foolishness Extends to Work
I was talking to an advertising/public relations executive after my show and I shared my Facebook expulsion experience. He told me a similar story. A few months ago his agency was going to hire a hotshot social media “guru” to provide freelance social media help for a few clients.
“But after we saw her Facebook and Twitter posts, we decided to take a pass,” he explained. She was apparently very passionate about her politics and her posts were extremely opinionated. She liked to provoke and challenge everyone in the Twitter-verse who disagreed with her viewpoint. The other party was constantly demonized in her Facebook posts and tweets.
My agency friend said, “we were concerned that this consultant would offend some of the clients who we knew supported the other political party. It’s pretty easy to do a quick check of people online. It just wasn’t worth it.”
While my whole career is predicated around politics, challenging politicians and policies and stirring up vigorous debates on the air, I totally agreed with my agency friend. People are very passionate about their political beliefs and other personal opinions, but there are very few work environments where that is welcome (maybe if you’re a lobbyist or a radio talk show host).
But when you sit in front of a keyboard typing away in a highly agitated or provoked state, there is no one whispering in your ear to stop and re-read those words before you hit “send” and they’re published.
Is it really worth it to get so wrapped up in your beliefs that it may create unanticipated consequences?
Even if people know they’re crossing a line, many simply do not care.
One Facebook connection began posting very hostile rants and comments on my wall. They were filled with curses and threats. I gave him a warning, but that did not even stop him for a moment.
I noticed that this person’s Facebook profile listed his place of employment and his position. I looked at when his hate-filled and obscenity posts were sent to me and it appeared that many were sent during work hours.
Like “The Godfather,” I whacked him from my Facebook contacts. Like Luca Brasi, he is now sleeping with the fishes.
While I permanently blocked him, if he tries to threaten me again, I just may contact the CEO of the local company where this jerk works. I am sure the guy’s boss would want to see what he was sending to me during company work hours…and probably on company computers.
Then after that, the guy won’t have to worry about something as silly as a job encroaching on his time posting hate-filled rants on social media sites.
In this Facebook age, people who write crude or rude posts on your wall really are not your “friends,” they’re just clueless, thoughtless trolls.
What have you done when you had to deal with people who post inappropriate content on your Facebook wall or behaved inappropriately?
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