Some of you may have heard about the recent backlash a Cleveland job bank operator received for a nasty LinkedIn email she sent in response to a new-to-the-Cleveland-workforce job seeker, who was merely looking for some guidance and connections. The email made such an impact on the social media community that it gained national attention. It also nudged other “victims” of the sender’s harsh rejection messages to come forward and share their experiences.
Consider your audience when sending a message out. I’m not talking just about the recipient of an email, Facebook post, status update, etc. I’m talking about who the content can potentially reach, either immediately or down the line. Would you want your current boss knowing about the time you did four shots of whiskey on your lunch break during your tenure with a previous employer and got suspended without pay? Or emailing an old friend about something personal, and then later overhearing coworkers talking about it. Wait – they know your friend??? Yep, small world.
Having a bad day or feeling especially emotional? Before you send that terse response to that friend in need of some relationship advice, stop and think. Are you having a less-than-stellar day? Is there time to write a thoughtful response? If the answer is no then step away and revisit later. You get the point.
I can say from personal experience, there have been times where I was running late to an important commitment, gotten stuck behind a slow driver on a single lane road and ranted on my Facebook profile about how people need to learn how to drive. While it felt good at the time to get it off my chest, in the end it comes across as negative and whiny. Don’t let that annoying driver get the best of you… not worth it.
Always consider the outcome, be nice and don’t share anything you wouldn’t want the entire world to know. There’s a pretty good chance that Cleveland job bank operator has read some pretty scathing comments about herself, and is regretting hitting that “send” button right about now.