How to ruin your life with social networking

Learn how to do it, as that's the only way to learn how not to do it.

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Try not to get yourself fired


Picture courtesy of Flickr user; codepinkhq

Here is a first tip! If your profile is public, or if you have Facebook friends you work with, try not to imply on your profile that you're a drug addict. This goes double if you work for a government or law enforcement agency. Dana Kuchler, who had worked for a Wisconsin police and fire dispatcher, announced on her Facebook page that she quite fancied "Vicodin, Adderall, quality marijuana, MD 20/20 Grape and (absinthe)." After she was fired, she claimed that the post had been a joke, noting that she also included the word "ha" in the posting; this could ultimately set an intriguing legal precedent that might eventually encompass emoticons.

Some aimless tweeting might have ended one potential career before it even began. A user known as theconnor returned from a job interview with Cisco with an offer in hand, but with a bit of ambivalence: "Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work." Tim Levad, a "channel partner advocate" (whatever that is) at Cisco responded abruptly: "Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web." (I love that last bit. "We are a tech company, we know all about this so-called "Internet" that you're posting these insults on.")

To these more obvious points, we add a subtler one: if you want to be a teacher, Don't put up a picture on MySpace of yourself dressed as a pirate. As Stacy Snyder discovered, Millersville University won't hand out teaching credentials to pirates, or people who may have once worn pirate hats. Who knew?

Next page: Don't alienate your business contacts

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