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Navigating the Middle

through adolescents, menopause, aging parents & other flying debris

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April 2012

Mind Your Facebook Ps & Qs

So this morning, I jumped on Facebook, checked out Twitter and added a couple of friends to my Google+. I also have a LinkedIn profile, but I’m rarely there. It is like a vacation home that I don’t visit due to lack of time.

But what I really want to talk about is SoMe etiquette, or social media etiquette. It’s been a long time coming, and I’ve largely kept my comments to myself…or shared them with those of you who know me personally. But when I saw a story that was covered in today’s news, I realized the time was ripe for me to finally say something. And that something is –

DO NOT USE FACEBOOK TO POST EVERY (translation: inappropriate) THOUGHT THAT POPS INTO YOUR HEAD!!!

In case you missed the story, I’m talking about Secret Service agent, David Chaney, who was assigned to handle (no pun intended) Sarah Palin while she was running on the McCain Presidential ticket in 2008. Instead of doing his job for Mrs. Palin, this creep was busy ogling her. The worst part is that he didn’t have the decency to keep his thoughts private.

Chaney wrote of his assignment guarding Palin: “I was really checking her out, if you know what i (sic) mean?” after a friend commented on the picture posted in January 2009 (originally reported by the Washington Post).

We all use social media to share our thoughts on a range of topics. But using social media does not mean “making every private thought, public.” In this world of instant messaging and real-time tweets, what magic potion convinced Mr. Chaney that his post would remain “between friends?” Even a lapse in judgment can be quickly corrected with a touch of the “remove” post button. Why do you think it exists? It’s not just for other people. Use it!

It could save your job.

Palin & Chaney

In this photo taken Oct. 4, 2008, David Chaney, right, who identified himself on his Facebook account as a member of Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s Secret Service detail, watches Palin during a rally in Carson, Calif. Chaney’s lawyer, Lawrence Berger of New York, said he is representing Chaney in the fallout from the prostitution scandal inside the Secret Service. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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