Sunday, June 17, 2012

Relax! It's Not All About YOU (or Why Facebook Kind of Sucks)

So, here’s the thing.  I’ve got a lot on my mind.  I’m going to try and break it down as quickly and clearly as I can, but I may digress, so be forewarned.

The first point I guess I want to make is that Facebook is insidious, and Mark Zuckerberg is the devil.  Don’t pretend you haven’t thought this too. 

The second point I know I want to make is that IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.  Not always, anyway.

A little backstory.  The other day I posted a rather innocuous message on my Facebook – something a little deeper than “Gosh, I’m hungry!” and “Wow! Look at this funny LOLcats picture!” though not by much.  It was something like, “If you play with fire at work, don’t be surprised if you get burned.”  Well, holy cow, did that open up the floodgates.  My email notification didn’t stop pinging (or wheeeing – if you’ve been near me when this happened, you’ll know what that means) all day.  I got no less than eight messages asking who I was talking about – the senders’ surreptitious way of asking, “That’s about ME, isn’t it?  ISN’T IT?” 

The short answer is no.  It is probably not about YOU.

See, and this is the other thing:  I work five different jobs.  I work for three or four universities at any given time.  I work as a consultant for multiple clients (both academic and corporate), plus I have a pretty good network of friends and family who are bound to screw things up on an almost daily basis.  (And I mean REALLY screw things up.)

So, over the past week or so, I’ve gotten the following scuttlebutt:

  1. Someone has gone beyond swiping Swingline staplers and “really good pens!”  at work to stealing thousands of dollars in actual cash-money. 
  2. Someone has been put on probation for poor job performance.
  3. Someone has stolen a work product – a serious work product – and wrecked it.  They are now in the slammer for this theft and destruction.
  4. Someone has been outed for sleeping with students.  (By the way, the trouble with teenagers is that they’re teenagers.  They have mouths like torn pockets.)
  5. Someone has been stealing and selling proprietary information to the competition.
  6. Someone has been cutting a lot of classes – and it ain’t the students, either – and the hammer is going to fall soon.
  7. Someone has been showing up to work drunk, almost daily.
  8. Someone died unexpectedly.
  9. Someone slept (and is probably still sleeping) their way to the top.
  10. Someone is going to call the spouse of their current squeeze and spill the beans as a means to fast track that pending divorce.

These are just a few of the sordid tales that float around during any given week.  There are more, lots more.

So if you felt a surge of panic at reading that Facebook message, I’m sorry.   But honestly, it’s FACEBOOK.  Don't take it so seriously.

And finally, if you did get that little surge of panic when you read my post, maybe you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing.  Spend more time thinking about that than thinking about Facebook.

Now, for some truly valuable content:

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