Weiner’s Big Problem…Do we all risk our pants being down?

6 Jun

So news just broke that Anthony Weiner was in fact engaging in sexting and other less than desirable communique via social media (Twitter in particular).  While the debate is open as to whether or not he should step down, I think there is a larger debate to be had.

As we move through the digital age- it seems that more and more people are sharing their lives on different social mediums and in doing so are letting personal and work lives bleed together.  Take this blog, for example.  I make it no secret who I am or where I work in my About Me section, and I do this for the sake of disclosure, feeling it is much more important to share who I am than have it figured out later and worry about possible backlash.  I refrain from talking about anything directly related to my company or our competitors- including the industry that we are in as a whole.

But, that get’s tricky when I start moving into the personal space of my Facebook account.  I’ve adamantly protective of my Facebook friends, choosing only to accept the friendships of those I wouldn’t mind grabbing a beer with and sharing stories with.  Facebook is not a place for sharing business relationships.  That can be done on LinkedIn with gusto.  Why am I so adament?  Because, for one, it seems like something that should be a sacred space.  But another reason for it, is that we simply do not have a mature enough public discourse that treats things done on Facebook and Twitter as personal business rather than business business. Obviously, should one choose to post something on Facebook or Twitter, it should be expected that people will see it (depending on your security settings).   But should we really condemn someone for a mistake made and documented on Social Media?

As we start to become real life adults (doing momentous things) who documented the so called “best times of their lives (aka college)” on Facebook, when will we stop judging the decisions people made when they were 20?   When do we start realizing that personal life does not reflect on one’s ability to perform their job.  When I was in recruitment, it was something talked about in hushed tones- should employers and recruiters actively peruse Facebook before hiring?

I would argue that as older generations leave the work place, we will hopefully see a more forgiving workplace environment that will not criticize personal behavior on Social Media.  It reminds me of similar arguments around tattoos- which in younger demographic-ed offices, are no longer controversial, but welcomed topics for conversation even.

So, while what Anthony Weiner did was morally not my cup of tea, nor was it the wisest social media use (note to cheaters and scandalous behaviorists- please learn how to use your security settings), I feel there is an extent to which we really can’t throw stones, lest we be in our own glass houses.

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