Tiny buzz of the moment: FireMe!, the new website allowing you to find out how your tweets might be a danger for your job. The program scans your tweet and unveils your firing potential. How awesome is that? Well, not more than Please Rob Me or I Can Stalk U (which no longer exists), designed to track down your checkings to make you aware of the inner danger of telling the whole world where you are all the time. If the simple concept of those websites may seem a little tacky, their creators all serve you the same reasons for creating them: making people understand how their use of social media can endanger them. Amen!
One of the founders of FireMe! even said he hopes no one will get fired because of it. Well, maybe you should have thought it over before… As FireMe! might seem like the new trendy pause to take during your hard day’s work, checking yourself but also you coworkers, there’s no need to say it could become a powerful weapon for those ill-intentioned. Come to think about it: you’re the boss (yeah, shit happens) and you don’t trust that employee so much. Maybe you even think you heard him/her say bad things about you. But you’re not sure. So, just out of curiosity you check FireMe!. One never knows… Now, let’s say your coworker is such a bitch (will you excuse my language) and appart from the fact that she’s a real pain in the ass, you assume she’s openly criticizing the company you’re both working for on Twitter… Wouldn’t you like to have some kind of a confirmation to, say… maybe use it against her..?
Of course, no one – or so does it seem – has yet been robbed or stalked out of Please Rob Me and I Can Stalk U, but do we really have the numbers..? The fact is that smart-asses have understood Big Brother tools have a public and that, even though they don’t mean to do any harm, they probably can make money out of them. If you do get in trouble because of them, don’t put the blame on them: they only meant to highlight the fact that your own behaviour is a danger to yourself and if only you had been more careful, nothing would have happened.
The truth is: people to get too keen on sharing all their activities on social networks. As long as the only people accessing their threads are the people they know in real life (yeah, you know, those people you actually talk to face to face every once in a while), the danger is small that anything will happen else than if you just told your friends during a dinner or party. However, as soon as you share your thoughts and moves with an audience you barely – if not at all – know, than you get exposed to side effects that can reveal pretty negative. How easy to shift from virtual life conversations to real life “random” encounters if your audience knows your ins and outs. And how easy to trick yourself by openly criticizing job…
The negative side-effects do exist then – though « that’not the principal “aim” – but as the founders and developpers of those projects point it out: you ought to get more responsible in your use of social networks. It’s only a shame some people do need websites to realize that.