Social Media- The Double Edged Sword

- October 13, 2009

Social media interaction has increased tremendously in the last year. Many people have signed up for social media accounts to share with friends and family and give the world their opinion. However, social media is a double edged sword. It should be handled carefully by all who choose to use it. 

Social media exists on two different playing fields. There are personal accounts created by users and there are business accounts being developed by corporate and small to mid-size businesses. The danger is when these two playing fields cross or intersect with each other. If a user is online chatting with family and friends about cleaning their room or visiting the zoo, nobody seems to really care. However, when a user starts to share an opinion about someone or a corporation, that’s where the social media sword can cut.  Let’s take a look at an example.

Recently, Slashfood, posted an article about a waiter named Jon who works in California, where seeing celebrities is the norm. Jon tweeted on his Twitter account about the celebrities that he saw or waited on from day to day. It didn’t become a big deal until he made a comment about a particular celebrity that skipped out on their bill. When the celebrity’s representative paid the bill, Jon tweeted that there was no tip. According to the article, he was out of a job shortly thereafter.

Social media is blurring the lines between social and business. It is a tool being used to express opinions and thoughts. However, employees need to exercise common sense when sharing about work and important people. Even when an account is private it could be dangerous. Many people have private accounts, but hundreds of friends. Who’s to say one of those friends isn’t related to the person or company you’re writing about. Social media is a valuable sword, and if used wisely it can cut through the clutter and help you reach people. On the other hand, if one is not careful, they could end up cutting themselves.

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