SOCIAL NETWORKING COMMON SENSE
Some time ago I heard about a woman who posted some pretty blatant complaints on her Facebook page about her job, her company, and her co-workers. It was clear that she’d had a bad day, and was just blowing off steam–which would have been fine had it been a private paper-and-pen journal or a quiet conversation with another person–but it was right out there on Facebook for the world to see. Long story short, she was fired. She was utterly gobstruck that her “private” postings on Facebook could be read by others outside her circle of friends; evidently it never occurred to her that people forward emails and postings.
I’ll freely admit I am no expert on social networking, but it should be very clear that ANYTHING you post anywhere on the Internet can be accessed. And once it’s out there–it’s out there for GOOD. You can head off a lot of trouble, embarrassment and possible job loss by asking yourself this question before you post: “Is this something I’d like to see as the major story on national news?” Then post accordingly.
NOTE: I do realize that even innocuous emails, posts, etc. can be doctored by experts. In that case, you may choose from Column A or Column B; A) don’t dignify trumped-up trash with a response, or B) send out a post declaring that this did not come from you.
POLITICAL COMMON SENSE
Lesson one in the How to Be a Successful Politician handbook should be this:
If you are a public figure, do not lead a conga line in a strip club. Do not put a funny hat on and have your picture taken. Do not flip anyone off. Do not use your political pull to dodge a parking or speeding ticket. Do not swear. Do not have an affair unless you want EVERYONE to know about it. Do not strap your pet dog in his crate on top of your car. Do not lie. If caught in a lie, admit it. Do not promise what you cannot deliver. Do not evade questions. Do not have a comb-over; if you’re balding, then just go ahead and BE bald; you’re not fooling anyone. Do not wear shorts. Do not answer foolish questions about what type of underwear you prefer. Do not wear a baseball cap backwards (this is only cute if you are a freckle-faced little boy playing T-ball). Do not, under any circumstance, try to rap. Ever.
Get the idea? If you are a public figure, act like one. Also, accept the fact that your private life is NEVER private. As a public servant, you are expected to act like a responsible person in thought, word, and deed. People are watching and they are judging, right or wrong.
CELEBRITY COMMON SENSE
For the most part, this title in itself is an oxymoron. In a country where being a celebrity has become equal with royalty in other countries; celebs get away with things that would put most of us in jail. The entitlement attitude is just amazing. Any celebs reading this should remember one of the most poignant phrases in Ray Davies’ (The Kinks) song, “Celluloid Heroes:”
“And those who are successful/Be always on your guard. /Success walks hand-in-hand with Failure/Along Hollywood Boulevard.”
TEXTING WHILE DRIVING COMMON SENSE AND BAD THINGS TO DO WHILE DRIVING
Do. Not. Ever. Do. This. Ever. Anything that distracts you from paying full attention to what you’re doing while driving a car is dangerous.
In fact, here’s my take on why this is happening so much (beyond the current and constant need for instant gratification): our motor vehicles are becoming more and more like mobile recliners. You can talk while driving, watch TV while you’re driving, read while you’re driving, and more. You can have a camera mounted right on the back of your vehicle so you don’t have to be bothered by all that pesky turning-around-to-look-out-the-back-window to see if a toddler, dog, etc. is standing there. Now there are vehicles that warn you of danger with a vibrating drivers’ seat. This means that you are literally getting your information through your BUTT.
With a push of a button or a voice command, you can conduct business, buy and sell stocks, check to see if the kids got home safely or if Fido peed on the carpet again, and so on. Please don’t drive with ear buds crammed firmly into both ears. This is every bit as dangerous as texting while driving as you cannot pay full attention to the road or the sounds around you (like, say, an ambulance with the siren on full blast, racing to the hospital to save someone’s life).
It’s a seductive path, people. We get lulled into thinking that, ‘hey, I’m home in my comfy armchair, and I don’t really have to pay attention.’ This kind of convenience comes with a deadly price—complacency. When we get complacent, we get lazy. When we get lazy, we get careless. When we get careless in a moving vehicle, the odds are that sooner or later, we are going to have an accident. When we have an accident, we may end up severely injured with life-changing results, we may cause the injury or death of someone we love or don’t even know.
Cars used to have “features” that made you actually pay attention while driving. When you have to shift gears, roll the windows up and down manually, check your side and rear view mirror and so on, you are fully engaged. I realize that those days are long gone. But even so, couldn’t we all just be a little more careful and fully engaged while driving?