The May 14th Wall Street Journal article “Facebook and Twitter Postings Cost CFO His Job” by Rachel Emma Silverman is a mind-blower:
Gene Morphis, chief financial officer of fashion retailer Francesca’s Holdings Corp., was fired because he “improperly communicated company information through social media.”
The article reported that his Twitter username is @theoldcfo and gave as an example of his tweets one that he tweeted on March 6: “Dinner w/Board tonite. Used to be fun. Now one must be on guard every second.”
As the saying goes, how dumb do you have to be? You are the CFO of a company, presumably trusted with the company’s funds, and you do not know enough not to tweet this?
The mistake by Morphis is not an example of not knowing the difference between private and personal. This is an example of not understanding what you do not disclose about your employer (or your business).
Social media should not be blamed for Morphis’ stupidity. That blame rests solely on Morphis’ own shoulders.
And while Morphis was appropriately fired, his stupidity should be a wake-up call for all of us to examine what we share on social media sites.
If you need help with knowing what not to share, here is the full-page warning posted at the beginning of all three books in my new series HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND BEYOND:
WARNING – READ THIS RIGHT NOW TO SAVE YOURSELF FROM MAJOR MISTAKES
No matter what – NEVER, EVER, EVER put anything online that could damage your future.
And NEVER believe that privacy controls will protect you. Even if you think no one except yourself can see that nude picture of you, do NOT put it online.
While I am a huge advocate of effectively using social media for your goals in life, I also know that sharing inappropriate information, photos or videos can really hurt you.
In case you are unsure what could be harmful to your college applications or beyond – here is a partial list:
- Photos or videos of yourself with beer, alcohol or controlled substances in your hands
- Photos or videos of yourself in lewd (or no) clothing
- Photos or videos of yourself making vulgar hand gestures
- Comments or videos with R-rated swear words
- Hurtful comments or videos about others
Photos and comments can live on the Internet forever even if you have deleted these. Please do NOT shoot yourself in the foot by putting inappropriate photos, videos or comments online.
While the above tweet by Morphis can probably be included in the “hurtful comments” category, we will create another one just for him:
After all, how much common sense is required to know this?
(c) 2012 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter and @ZimblerMiller on Pinterest) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com, which helps clients with effectively using social media to connect with prospective target audiences.
Visit her author site www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com to find out about the three-book series HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND BEYOND COLLEGE.