Monday, March 8, 2010

Giving It All Away

Monday, March 8, 2010
Oh, the times, they are a changing. The internet is a wonderful resource. We can learn about anything and everything with just a few taps on the keys. Book a flight? Yep. Check the spelling of a word? Yep. Search for a new home? Yep. Shop? Absolutely? There's not much that you can't do anymore.

Here's my problem. Some people, adults, teens and children alike, are putting their entire lives out there for people to see. Nothing about their life is private because they've given it all away. They share pictures that are better left in a lock box. They share opinions that are better left unsaid. They tell us that they're getting a cup of coffee to drink and then heading to the bathroom. They tell us how excited they are that their divorce is finally final and how sad they are that their boyfriend just slept with someone else.

It's too much folks and it's getting some into a world of trouble. For instance, I was getting my hair cut yesterday and my stylist and I were talking about this. She told me that one of the other stylists was on her Facebook page while at work and updating her status about how bored she was. Apparently, she forgot that she'd "friended" her boss, who saw this and then fired her.

Prospective employers are checking MySpace and Facebook along with other sites before they offer someone an interview. Who do you think they'll hire? The one with a nice smile on their face or the one sucking face with a man in their profile pic? You think I'm joking? I assure you, I'm not. People complain about their bosses, make fun of them and then wonder why their stuff is in a cardboard box on top of their desk the next day.

My husband told me there is a new "site" that tells people where you are at all times. People actually sign up for this. I'll have to ask him the name and get back to you about this. I guess this would be a robbers paradise!

Enough is enough. Sometimes everything can be way too much. How about you? How much do you put out there? Have any stories of someone going too far?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

26 comments:

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Hmm, how about a woman sharing half nude pictures with a boyfriend who put them on FB, and now she's worried about being fired from her teacher's job? Or risque pictures of some college students who are in ROTC, both of them, and were counseled and told to take them down or else. Common sense dictates here. It's out for the world to see. I like to post my hunky men and their wolf halves...book covers, you know! :) Or my award-winning bears who bare it all, as far as bears go. But that's as far as it goes!!! My boss has told me before she's seen me on Myspace and FB. And my editor requested a mss after seeing a posting I had about it on my blog. So we are not just writing for fans. :)

Elle J Rossi said...

Terry,

Welcome to SIS. As you know, I am a huge fan of yours and all because of Sia's blog. But like you said, being out there professionally is a far cry from nude photos. But I guess that really depends on what profession you're in????

On a side note, we would love to have you guest blog here at SIS. If you have any spare time, you are always welcome.

Folks, Terry's Werewolf series is amazing and something you haven't seen before. I highly recommend it!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Debora Dennis said...

I just found your blog and I love it! First I try very hard to separate the "real" me from the pen-name me. I have separate FB accounts and will only friend someone on my personal site if I know them - face-to-face know them!

On my writing blog, I will post about my family and myself - but nothing that I feel would cross any lines, I am generally vague, don't post the first names of my kids and never post close-up photos of the family either. Too many creeps out there.

I try to keep the online me as generic as possible but still approachable to fans - does that make any sense?

Happy Monday - I'll definitely be back!

Edie Ramer said...

I agree so much. I don't want to hear every time someone is going to the store or whatever. It's not interesting and clogs up my Twitter and Facebook. And writers who should know better will talk about their rejections on their blogs. What if an agent interested in her work decides to check out her blog and sees that? It's likely she won't even request materials.

Sandy said...

It's a sad shame, but there's very little privacy these days so why make it even worse for yourself by saying too much. lol That said, I'm a very opinionated blogger, and I may have stepped over the line a few times.

One other thing people need to know is that any picture you post on-line can be taken and used for the use of the taker.

Great post, Elle.

Elle J Rossi said...

Debora,

We are happy to have you! I'm the same way. I also have two FB accounts. I want the world to buy my work, once I'm published, but I have no desire for people to know the day to day routine of my family's life.

Generic but approachable makes perfect sense. We hope to see you back soon.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Elle J Rossi said...

Edie,

Really? They talk about their rejections? That's like shooting yourself in the foot. When I'm on FB, I notice that some people update every 10 minutes or so. How do they even have a life? I don't get it.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Elle J Rossi said...

Sandy,

I actually like opinionated bloggers. I'm one myself. Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems different to me. I think once a subject/conversation is initiated, we have every right to give our honest opinion. But now that I'm really think about it, you could be right. I may have to watch what I say!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Denise said...

Had three good nurses fired from the hospital I work at because they took a video at work on someone's phone where they were laughing and singing at work. It wasn't anything inappropriate but when someone saw it on facebook and recognized that they were at work they told the boss.

Elle J Rossi said...

Denise,

Oh my. All innocent fun that went wrong. I feel for those nurses, but this is exactly what I'm talking about. FB is not everyone's friend. That's for sure.

Thanks for stopping by!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Alyson Reuben said...

Hmm... well, I haven't been on my personal FB account lately. Several local friends practically consume it, and I can't block them without hurting their feelings, which I definitely DON'T want to do. However, trivial minute-to-minute posts and small talk slows my writing schedule down a LOT.

I haven't created an FB account for my author name yet. Not sure whether I should or not. Advice anyone?

As for personal pictures on the web, I've been guilty of posting them. This is because some of my friends and family live a long distance away, and we don't see each other in person very often.

Oh, and I just have to add that I envy Terry because her editor requested a mss after seeing a posting she had about it on her blog. How awesome is that? I now have new inspiration for making my blog a better one! Thank's Terry!

- Amanda/Alyson Reuben

Mary Jo said...

Elle,

Very interesting blog and on a subject I've been concerned about which is why I haven't ventured into the FaceBook world as yet. Okay, I'll be honest. I'm not sure exactly how to go about it. :-)

I think the site you mentioned that can keep track of where everyone is is something you can purchase as a Goggle application. I heard about it on a newscast as a possible tool for parents to keep tabs on children. Also saw it twice as a plot device on some network TV crime/police/court drama.

Chris Behrens said...

There's a website called "Please rob me" ((www.pleaserobme.com)) Talk about the ultimate in stupidity...

I'm not a very open and divulging type person to begin with, plus I lead a very boring life which also limits the amount and kinds of things I would tell someone. I only recently got into Facebook, and was very leery to do so in the first place. I approached it this way: Don't show or say anything to anyone that you wouldn't want -everyone- to see or know. Of course there are a few exceptions as we all know people we trust implicitly, but even so it always pays to be extra cautious. You could be sending an E-mail to a family member or having a phone conversation with your best friend and either one could be tapped into very easily and info about you could fall into very bad hands. People are so used to conveniently communicating with friends/loved ones that they very rarely stop and think about what they're saying or how secure it is. Something as simple as an overheard conversation between you and someone else could lead to your house being robbed while you're away or even worse.

I agree that people nowadays tend to share way too much info. I think partially it's because we as a society have become more 'me' oriented and also more competitive to the point that we feel like we have to share every little accomplishment so we can feel better about ourselves.

As far as people who are using computers at work for personal stuff and making videos of themselves while they should be working, I say that they should be fired, or at least reprimanded. There's a time and a place for personal stuff/goofing off, and at work isn't one of them. If you want to tweak your Facebook or make an idiot of yourself with someone's cell phone, do it on your own time.

That having been said, while I do think that goofing off while at work should be punished, I don't think that opinions or thoughts about an employer that are posted online should be able to be used against the employee. Whether they're posted online or not, they're still an opinion and should be protected as free speech.

Elle J Rossi said...

Alyson/Amanda,

I think family photos are a innocent enough. It's the ones that can be turned into something ugly or unsavory. However, with the right photo program, I'm sure someone could do just that to any photo. But still, I think the internet is a wonderful way to share photos of loved ones with loved ones. There were times when we used film, that the developing establishment took photos and sold them or altered them in some way. It will always go on. There are those that are just sick.

I love having a FB page under my pen name. First of all, I get to learn a lot of information from other writers as well as readers. I find it invaluable.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Elle J Rossi said...

Mary Jo,

I think this is a subject we should all be concerned about. And yes,I believe that site is a Google application. What will they come up with next? I get why parents want to know where there kids are, but this is one step away form microchipping everyone.

P.S. If you decide to join FB and need some help, let me know.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Elle J Rossi said...

Chris,

Ouch! I'm not sure I'd want to work for you. Although, yes, we are there to work and we get paid to do so. But, take my job for instance. It can be very stressful. Thankfully, I work with a great bunch of people that make work fun. Should we surf the internet or take videos with our phones? No. Should we text people all day long? Absolutely not!

With that being said, I'll argue with you a bit on the freedom of speech idea. We can say whatever we want to say, but there are, and in my opinion, should be consequences for some statements. Our boss is the person who signs the paycheck every other week. Do we have to like him/her? No. Can we have private conversations with friends and family about our boss? Sure. Should we be able to blast them on the internet for any and all eyes to see? I think not. Your boss may see that. What kind of an employee does that make you in their eyes? Right or wrong, it doesn't matter. Those that write negative comments about the hand that feeds them, shouldn't be surprised when that hand starts to feed someone else.

That's my two cents, Chris! But you know how you and I both love a good debate!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

SIS BJ said...

Hi Barb

The only reason I am on FB is to keep up on what's going on with our brother. Other than that, I don't do anything on it. I have noticed a couple of "friends" are on there all the time. I don't think I really need to know that much about them.

Elle J Rossi said...

Hey BJ,

Under those circumstances, I think it's nice to have a FB page. I'd imagine one would get so tired of telling updates to so many people. How depressing. This way or brother can shout it out once a week and won't be badgered with a bunch of questions. In this case, I think it serves its purpose well.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Tori Lennox said...

I probably babble more online than I should but I do try to use some discretion. :)

Chris Behrens said...

Elle,

I'm not sure I'd want to work for me either, although I do have to say that I think the nurses in question should have been advised not to do that again and not just summarily fired. Good point about freedom of speech, and here's the possible middle ground. I neglected to add that although I believe that opinions, whether expressed verbally or online, are free speech I am willing to concede that there is a fine line between personal opinion and libel/slander. Saying that something your boss or a coworker did/said at work pissed you off and calling them all sorts of names or insulting them are two different things entirely. Also, if someone wants to know unflattering or negative things about companies or famous people, all one has to do is pick up a newspaper or turn on the news.

Elle J Rossi said...

That's funny, Tori! I actually enjoy reading about your newscasters. You may have one heck of a story there. I'm thinking romantic comedy!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Elle J Rossi said...

Chris,

I like the middle ground. Glad we could meet half way. Now if we could just decide which direction to take when we get to the next fork in the road!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Chris Behrens said...

That's easy. It all depends on if it's a dinner fork or a salad fork!

Tori Lennox said...

Oh, well, the newscasters deserve every bit of snark I throw at them. LOL!

Beth Ciotta said...

I'm late to the party and don't have a lot that's 'new' to add to the conversation. I read so many of these comments and thought "ditto".

I have a Twitter, FB, and MySpace account, a solo blog and this group blog. I also have a blog in the eHarlequin community.

I never visit MySpace anymore--just not comfortable there--although my Twitter updates go there and I try to keep my promo updated... for the random person who finds me there and cares.

My blog at eHarlequin was great fun, but I got overwhelmed with work and that fell through the cracks. I haven't done much better with my solo blog. I'm most active here.

I like Twitter because it only allows me to make a condensed entry, and I have it set up that that entry goes to FB, MySpace, AND my personal blog. That way there is fresh content to most of my sites with one click. Easy and time efficient.

AS a visiter at Twitter and FB, I usually skim people that post every three (or one) minute. I'm usually more interested in what the person who updates occasionally has to share, because it's usually important--or really interesting.

I don't Twitter or upate my status at FB very often--maybe every other day, if that-once a day. Twice if I'm inspired. I don't do it more than that because:
A) I don't have time
B) I'm not all that interesting
C) I'm... shy? Reserved? Private?

Like Barb, and many people here, I just think some things are left best unsaid, or don't need to be said. Like Chris, I think social network
diareah can be chalked up to the current 'me' mania of the country.

I could go on and on... but I have to go to work... where I don't Twitter or FB... although I do surf industry blogs during slow times. Since I work at a library and the blogs I surf are 'book' related, it's not a wholly bad thing. :)

Oh! Basically, as a public personality, I think it boils down to sharing enough of yourself to kepp fans and friends entertained/intrigued, but not so much that you make yourself tabloid journal fodder.

SIS Beth

Elle J Rossi said...

Well said, Beth. We definitely don't want to be in the tabloids. Could you imagine???

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

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