Earlier this week, the US National Labor Relations Board declared Facebook part of protected speech. Not being a lawyer of any kind, much less one focusing on employent law, the precise details make my brain ooze. Basically, if you say something negative about your boss on Facebook, and you are doing so with cworkers, you can’t get fired for that reason.
I want to protect people, but some people shouldn’t be protected from themselves.
There was a time when Facebook was a closed social network. That was 2004. Now we’re in 2010, when we have no shame in hiding anything because we all know the internet never forgets anything. Even that time you wore MC Hammer pants. You think we forgot, but Google remembers.
In the world of open online identity, ranting, whining, and bitching about real people is a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t care if you use code names or even just pronouns, it’s bound to bite you in the ass.
The best way to protect yourself is to use common sense. If you think someone can construe what you write as being negative about your work situation, don’t write it on the internet. Write it in a private journal. Talk to a friend. Complain to your cat. The internet can survive without your negativity for one day. We already have YouTube comments.
And if you have to do something online, start searching for a new job. It’s a much healthier way of dealing with the situation than just venting to all of us who’d rather share pictures of puppies and double rainbows.
So yeah, you may think you’re being protected, but it’s easer and better to just protect yourself by stopping and not venting online. You’re career will thank me.