Every carpenter will tell you that a key rule to success is measure twice, cut once. Caution prior to irreversible activity is just common sense.
People find the idea so self evident that variations on it are humorous. A Dilbert cartoon dealt with encouraging the business to have a bias towards action. Wally’s slogan was “Measure once, cut twice.” Perhaps he missed the difference between action and activity.
There is a recent case in Toronto where some boorish soccer fans thought it would be amusing to verbally assault a female reporter. She was tougher than they and merely turned the camera on them. They became the interviewees.
They foolishly continued their tirade and so far, one has lost his job and another might. Others have been disciplined. They have all banned from future soccer games and probably from hockey and basketball games too. Same team owner.
The power of the internet is intriguing. The speed with which unfiltered content appears is unparallelled in our history. We may not appreciate how serious that is. The internet is permanent. The internet is not editable. The internet is fast. The internet is everywhere.
Tiny pieces from many sources make a clear personal profile. Do you really think no one looks. What are the chances that a potential date does not look at your social profiles. Zero. Almost the same for employers. At least 70% of employers use internet data in making their hiring decisions.
You cannot control everything that is about you on the internet, but you can be a little cautious about what you put out.
You cannot uncut a board and you cannot unsend things to the internet. Maybe a new rule for life is in order. It applies to the internet and to life in general. It reflects the idea that even fish don’t get in much trouble when they keep their mouth shut.
Think twice, speak once, or maybe think twice, post once.
Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is now with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.