There’s a term that I created and have used quite a bit here on the show, called iCommon Sense. It’s something that I made up after reading a story about a couple who left their young children in the car on a cold night while they attended a wine tasting, and turned on the Facetime feature of their iPhones to keep an eye on the kids. They thought that their smart phones apparently were so smart, that they qualified as human babysitters. I said – well jeez, since everyone is so addicted to their smart phones, technology, and social media, we should create an app called iCommon Sense because let’s face it – common sense isn’t very common at all! The phrase stuck and I started using it in stories where people demonstrate a lack of common sense – and usually suffer the consequences as a result; or someone around them does.
So let me ask you: Do you think technology and social media have replaced common sense? Are we so dependent on our devices and the internet that we can’t even think for ourselves anymore?
Well today I’m going to present some evidence to you so you can make an informed decision on the answers to those very questions. So without further ado: Here Ye’ Here Ye’ – The Court of iCommon Sense is officially called to order with – ME – the honorable judge Cristina Perez presiding.
So the first case in the Court of iCommon Sense – where technology has replaced thinking – deals with everyone’s social media network – Facebook. I’m looking at a story here about a daycare worker in Texas who was fired before her first day of work at a new job. And it was all because she posted a status update on Facebook that read: “I start my new job today. But I absolutely hate working at daycare. I just really hate being around a lot of kids.” Now imagine you’re the owner of the daycare center – isn’t that exactly what you’d want to hear from your new employee? I’m going to guess no, it’s not. Well her boss did find out about the post and told the woman not to bother coming into work. Fired before she even clocked in. The woman later said that when she lands her next job – which I’m guessing won’t be in daycare after all this publicity – she will keep her opinions to herself. Good movie genius. My verdict here in the court of iCommon Sense? Guilty!
After I read this story, I got curious about how many other people have been fired for what they posted on Facebook. So I searched online using the phrase “fired over Facebook post” – and I found a whole PAGE of headlines! Prison official fired over facebook post. Waitress fired after complaining about bad tips on facebook. Bartender fired after facebook rant goes viral. And even – 19 Facebook posts that got people ARRESTED! Do any of these people know that the internet, especially social media, is a public place? No matter what privacy settings you have in place – if you put it online, you’re putting it out for everyone to see. And don’t blame Facebook either… it’s all in the fine print you agreed to when you signed up for an account. You can post that bogus notice that’s always going around the site all you want - that “I hereby declare that I own all my content, I claim my private, Facebook doesn’t own me” – and so on. But the fact is, when you log on to Facebook you are basically getting in front of a live TV camera and sharing your life with the whole world. With that in mind – doesn’t it make the most sense to only post things that you wouldn’t mind for the whole world to see? Facebook, I’m sure, didn’t come to the defense these people I’ve just mentioned who posted rants about their jobs or their bosses. So don’t count on Facebook being there for you either. Mark Zuckerberg does not care if you said something stupid and got fired because of it. So for the sake of time, I decided to group all the people in these stories about Facebook posts gone horribly wrong, together into one class action iCommon sense lawsuit and say – guilty.
This brings up the question: WHAT is this compulsive need we have to share every detail of our lives, every thought in our head, every meal we ate today – on social media? Is this the place where people now go to get attention and feel validated about their lives? Is the Internet nothing but an epicenter for narcissism and sympathy?
Now I certainly can’t fault people for needing an ego boost or needing to vent about their life… we are human after all. Life happens! Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. We need a place to let it all out once in awhile, right? My point is that perhaps the extremely public, worldwide forum that is social media, is not that place. When I’m upset I vent to my husband, or my sister, or my girlfriends. And sometimes there’s wine involved. But I don’t go online and tell the world about it… well actually – I take that back... If I want to vent about something that’s happening in the news, apparently I go live on the radio and give all of YOU my opinion. But that’s professional, not personal. One of my favorite dichos – which are like Spanish proverbs, words of wisdom - that I learned from my parents is: La ropa sucia se lava en casa. Which means - “Dirty clothes, wash at home. Keep problems at home.” And that is the advice I would give to everyone who appeared in the Court of iCommon Sense today. Keep your dirty laundry at home – not all over Facebook.
Now it’s your turn to weigh in: Do you post your dirty laundry on social media? Do you feel safe doing that or do you understand the risk involved?