Having been actively engaged with social media for the past five years, one of the more fascinating phenomena is how it has become an anything goes medium. No matter what’s on your mind, you can say it, and many people say it on a regular basis with astounding bluntness and honesty about their professional and personal lives.
Many people seem to have a complete lack of personal digital filters. There doesn’t seem to be a “pause” button before they hit the “submit” or “enter” button. Whether it’s a blog post, Facebook update or tweet, these unfiltered thoughts are propelled into the digital ether with nary a thought of their impact.
A high-profile case in point is Twitter lead developer Alex Payne, who wrote critical review of his two years in San Francisco, describing it “dirty”, “filthy” and “disgusting”. Payne’s assessment may, in fact, be accurate and he has the right to criticize San Francisco but his post makes me wonder about how there could be an “up side” to making a public proclamation.
Of course, Payne’s blog post is mild compared with some of the things that many people reveal via social media. There’s information to be shared with friends and family, and there’s information to be shared with everyone, but many people seem to have forgotten the difference.
We’re living amid fascinating times when the ability to publish your thoughts and ideas has never been easier. But just because you can publish any of your thoughts and ideas doesn’t mean you should.
If there’s an enterprising developer out there, they should create an auto-delay feature for blogs, Facebook and Twitter that keeps a message/post from appearing for five minutes. This would give people some time to reflect on what they had done before it hits the public domain.
What do you think? Am I being hyper-sensitive?
More: Gawker has more on Payne’s blog post. Another good example of someone who paid the consequences for blabbing via social media was a woman named in “Lindsay” in the U.K., who came home after a bad day at work, and then talked about it on Facebook. Not surprisingly, she was fired.