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Social media – Mind your Language

When Naomi got an internship with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), she was obviously excited. That was an opportunity most people would die for.

But her tweets later may have left a sour taste in her mouth.

According to the report, Naomi excitedly announced her internship offer thus:

“Everyone shut the ‘F-up’,” she wrote. “I got accepted for a NASA internship.”

However, her big announcement caught the eye of former NASA engineer Homer Hickam, who commented with the simple word “Language” underneath her tweet.

But Naomi did not take kindly to the Hickam’s response and, not even knowing who he was, quickly gave a profanity-laden response, adding: “I’m working at NASA”

That’s when Hickam, 75, revealed his identity.

“And I am on the National Space Council that oversees NASA,” Hickam wrote.

Suffice it to say, Naomi lost her internship at NASA.

Naomi and Hickam’s conversation has since been deleted, while Naomi has changed her Twitter profile to private.

In a blog, Hickam explained that Naomi losing her internship had nothing to do with him and that it was the NASA hashtag her friends used that called the agency’s attention to it long after his comments were deleted.

“This I had nothing to do with, nor could I, since I do not hire and fire at the agency or have any say on employment whatsoever.”

It is heartwarming to note that Naomi reached out to Hickam to make amends.

“She reached out to me with an unnecessary apology which I heartily accepted and returned with my own,” Hickam wrote.

“After talking to her, I am certain she deserves a position in the aerospace industry and I’m doing all I can to secure her one that will be better than she lost.”

Hickam concluded, “I have also talked to the folks that had to do with her internship and made absolutely certain there will be no black mark on her record.”

Social media – love it, hate it

Stories of people who either lost a job or were embarrassed just because of a single tweet or post on social media abound. It is sad that most people throw social etiquette out the window when on social media.

Social media has become part of and influential in our daily lives. It has become a very powerful tool to promote a brand or an individual. It has also given people the “power” to air their views on anything or promote their businesses.

However, it is important to ensure some decorum on social media, since you do not know where your post may land you. It is important to mind your Ps and Qs.

You may not know, but some organisations will now check out your social media activities before they employ you. Therefore, things that you may have posted in the past may come to haunt you.

Social media is valuable in many ways and it is important that people learn the etiquette to guide them in using it as a communication tool.

Etiquette experts say you should not put anything on the Internet that you do not want your future boss, current client or potential clients to read.

It is also important not to post or tweet when you are overly angry, upset or had a little too much to drink.

Since your post or tweet says a lot about you, check your grammar and spelling before you hit the send button.

They say laughter is the best medicine but be cautious what type of humour you send out. Your sense of humour is not universal. What you consider to be funny may not be pleasant to someone. Although it is good to lace your post with a bit of humour sometimes, you just have to make sure it is appropriate.


12 questions to ask before you post

One Lisa Filpi Goeckler encourages that you ask yourself the following 12 questions before you click the send button:

1. Should I target a specific audience with this message?

2. Will anyone really care about this content besides me?

3. Will I offend anyone with this content? If so, who? Does it matter?

4. Is this appropriate for a social portal, or would it best be communicated another way?

5. How many times have I already posted something today? (More than three can be excessive.)

6. Did I spell-check?

7. Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this?

8. Is this post too vague? Will everyone understand what I’m saying?

9. Am I using this as an emotional dumping ground? If so, why? Is a different outlet better for these purposes?

10. Am I using too many abbreviations in this post and starting to sound like a teenager?

11. Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out?

12. Is this really something I want to share, or is it just me venting?


Credit: Graphic Online

October 16, 2018

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