You would think that by now people may have a better understanding of the power of social media. Wrong. Not only is Facebook still a place to talk to friends, it is also a place to be evaluated by your current or future employer and unfortunately for Denise Helms, her employer Cold Stone Creamery was poking around on her Facebook account only to find a comment that was not inline with their company policies and values. Helms made a negative comment toward the recently re-elected President Barack Obama and because of it was abruptly fired from her manager position.
Now, I certainly feel that we should be allowed to exercise our freedom of speech and openly comment on our political views, however her comment was more racist than political which is why it was damaging to the company image. Note that again, as I have commented along with countless others, if what you are about to post is something that you wouldn’t openly say at the dinner table with your supervisor, mother, partner and professor, than do not post it! I always keep in mind that regardless of my profile settings, it is possible for other people to see my content, people that I do not know or that I do not intend to share information with.
It goes to say, that after watching an interview with Ms. Helms, I have come to the conclusion that she was aware of her actions and actually just didn’t care who read her thoughts. This clearly points at a completely separate issue. I commend Cold Stone Creamery for handling the situation the way they did. Click here for an article on this issue: “Denise Helms, California Woman, Fired After Calling Obama N-Word, Hoping He’s Assassinated.”
In my recent travels abroad, my Facebook has become filled with lots of “party photos” and this I will need to clean up soon. I don’t drink so there is nothing too damaging as of now, but my overall goal with my online image is to create a specific idea: a positive and professional representation of myself. I want to look like a normal young person who is enjoying life, while at the same time, I don’t want to appear as an irresponsible college student that spends all her money on $2 Tuesdays. Get my drift? Keeping a professional online image is all about shaping the content you put out to deliver a specific message. Keep in mind how you want other people to perceive you and post accordingly! All you need is a little intentional action and awareness of your image.