We’ve all enjoyed ranting on occasion, but how is your career affected when that ranting is posted for all to see? Well, if you’ve “friended” your boss or failed to protect your online account, workplace rants can spell trouble – even unemployment.
One group is hoping that will change. Erik Hayden of the Atlantic Wire writes that “In the near future, whining about your boss on Facebook may be a protected activity. At least if the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) gets their way”. The NLRB filed a complaint against a company after that company suspended and later fired an employee for ranting about a workplace concern on a social networking site. Lafe Solomon, the Board’s acting general counsel, believes that the judge may side with the complainant. Stay tuned to see what the judge presiding over the case has to say when he hears arguments on January 25, 2010.
While we wait to see if your social media posts will become protected under the law, limiting access to your posts by choosing appropriate privacy options could save you a bit of embarassment. The following tips are Facebook-specific privacy settings:
- Change your photo and video “tag” features, so that no one will be able to tag you in a photo. (You don’t want that embarassing weekend photo or video being viewed by everyone at work.)
- Choose “Friends Only” for your posts, including pictures. In this voyeuristic society, we love to snoop on other people by browsing their social media posts and pictures and we often feel as if we owe them the same access to our personal information. Protect your privacy above all else, because at the end of the day, we don’t owe anyone access to our personal thoughts.
- Don’t “friend” people from work. Instead, politely decline their invites and tell them that you wish to keep your work relationships professional.
- Remove your name from Facebook’s public search option. Also, check Facebook’s privacy settings to ensure that your profile doesn’t show up during a Google search. (Note that the Google search will continue to show your name in search results until the search engine captures another snapshot, which could be weeks or months later.)
So before post about your latest workplace frustrations on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites, make sure you’ve taken appropriate action to protect your privacy. Better yet, write it in the old-fashioned way (paper and pen), read it, and toss it (but not in a trash bin at work).
Let’s chat! If you have advice or stories to share about embarassing social media faux pas, post them here.
Love to all!