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As social networks increase so does your margin for error

This is a cautionary tale that I’ve been thinking about for awhile. Having noticed how much social networks and communities have grown exponentially recently, I’ve noticed that people do things within the context of what we consider New Media, i.e. social networks, and then ultimately regret it later.

The  evidence is everywhere. We see the demise of relationships, axes to grind, pure anger, mob mentalities, bruised egos,  bitterness, love, hate, and fraud all played out in glorious real time and beyond, thanks to digital footprints.

Some groups seem to be more comfortable with this aspect of Web 2.0 than others. Gen Y and millenials are used to, and comfortable with leaving their mark. They’re comfortable with the ability to express free form raw emotion on their social nets of choice. So much so that they take on the characteristics of an animal marking its territory.  They do not care about the repercussion of what they do online.   It’s all they know and it’s almost expected and assumed by their peers

Why do they continue to push the envelope? Why do they do “it” knowing that there could be major reverb from it? Some do not care and they are looking for the desired reaction and effect.

Maybe for others, they have no idea? I don’t think they do. At least Gen Y and Millenials don’t, nor do they really care at the present moment.

But that’s just one segment, what about the rest of us?

Some of us do it specifically for that purpose, to get under someone’s skin, to challenge and and to poke and prod what people say. Yet they regret nothing and apologize less. But for them, that’s their schtick.

Others do it and have no idea of the ripple effect it may have online. They have zero clue that their actions, their written word, their audio, that video, once it’s online, that content… ceases to be in their control anymore.

You see online, you lose that buffer of physicality. You lose the ability to “take it back”.  Your margin to screw up is increasing and you know what?  The statement, “Once it’s done it’s done” isn’t true. It ain’t done. You now not only have to deal with “it” when it happens, but you also have to deal with it every time someone finds it. For years to come.

My advice to you is if you want to use social networks as your primary means of communication, be prepared for any and all repercussions stemming from your interactions…. to now be public fodder.


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The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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February 2009
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