As an avid blogger and social media practitioner I utilize a wide variety of social media channels both personally and professionally. Being the Type-A personality that I am, I don’t do anything half-ass, so when I am on a social channel, I’m on it. Not only does it help build an online profile that aids my presence as a blogger, it builds credibility for my chosen career as well. Just take a look at the social media related job openings for many companies out there and you will see requirements for presences on all sorts of social media platforms as well as Klout score minimums (many companies have not caught on to Kred yet).
I have written before about being careful how you represent yourself on social media, it can not only cost you your job, it can prevent you from getting one in the first place. In my case, I am cognizant of my company’s (which is similar to many other company’s) social media guidelines and I don’t use my blog to discuss religion, politics, sex, drugs or any other topic that would make my employer uncomfortable (that can change from employer to employer). The bottom line is that you are never “off,” you are always representing your employer if you participate in social media and its something you should not forget.
But my proficiency and ambition to utilize the channels to their fullest extent has now come at a personal cost and it is an important lesson and a good reminder to others out there who might find themselves in my shoes.
Last Thursday evening I flew to Las Vegas to meet Mr. Misadventures before getting on the road and heading back to Utah/Arizona. It’s a trip I will blog about when I finish getting through my awesome Napa trip (see, I am totally anal, I need to blog my trips in the order they happened!).
We knew that we weren’t going to have a lot of food options once we left Las Vegas so we decided to go out to a nice dinner. I got a recommendation from my new pal Abby, the editor-in-chief of Vegas Magazine who I had met (and fell in love with) on my Trafalgar San Francisco/Napa trip. If there was anyone’s suggestion to take it was Abby’s, especially after she said that Raku was a favorite spot of hers (that meant she had good taste in my book!).
Abby told me her favorite spot on the strip is Yellowtail at Bellagio, so I made a reservation and Mr. Misadventures and I headed there to try it out. I checked in on FourSquare which also pushed a tweet to Twitter. We sat down at our table and ordered a drink. As we waited for them to arrive, one of the hostesses came to our table and said I had a personal phone call. She indicated that it was against restaurant policy to allow a customer use the phone so she asked the caller (a male) to provide a message.
The note from a man named Roy was a bizarre half-finished message (the hostess said he hung up before providing a complete telephone number). I was so confused by what was happening that I don’t remember the whole thing. It was something like, “This is Roy from the future”….words…words…and then something about a martini and then part of a phone number that I think started with 920.
I don’t know a Roy. I don’t have any male friends that would call me. I don’t have friends that would call me on any other number than my cell phone. The only person who knew I was coming to the restaurant was Abby and if she wanted to get a hold of me she would tweet or email me and not leave a bizarre message. The only thing I had done was check in on FourSquare and tweet that out.
It was just plain weird and very disturbing. You could have the most solid marriage in the world and something like that could put a crack of doubt into its exterior wall.
The whole thing was so upsetting that we ended up leaving the restaurant before even finishing our drinks. The evening had been contaminated and I felt violated.
I have blogging friends who don’t blog about being gone on vacation. And others who check-in only after they are leaving a location. I have never thought twice about my own personal safety when it came to my social media activities.
It seems I have had a very mild, albeit alarming, incident which has made me rethink how I will approach my activities in the future. I wanted to share this experience in the hopes that it can prevent one of you from having something similar or worse happening to you.
How about you? Have you ever had a bad experience related to your social media activities?