About Condoms & Social Media, Heh

credit: blogs.laweekly.com

It’s Saturday and finally hot. My mind takes silly twists and turns without the confines of intense focus of the customary work week (which has grown to encompass nights and weekends).

I’m sitting in the streaming sunshine with streaming thoughts (stay with me here) marveling at all the comments still active on three blogs I commented on and wrote yesterday (do people ever put up boundaries?). Scanning a headline in O’Dwyers “Congloms, PR service firms see big Q1 gains,” I did a double take — condoms? Really?

And then my mind immediately returned to a sassy comment I’d made the other day in conversation (what, me sassy?); whatever happened to the condom (the link is clean…from Wikipedia)?

There’s a high profile case that has me blown away (well only wind blown) — that of the Terminator having sired a love child 10 years ago with his housekeeper while married to his also-celebrity wife Maria Shriver with whom he sired three(?) children.

And, let’s not forget John Edwards whose high-profile wife was terminal with cancer while he sired a love child he tried to keep under wraps unsuccessfully with a vendor to his presidential campaign. I’m not the man in the heat of passion with some young tart wanting a piece of his DNA; however, wouldn’t one think if he was a man in such a position of power and celebrity as these two both were that a condom would be in order?

I don’t know, call me stupid.

So what do condoms have to do with social media? Uhmm, nothing…but let me stretch the confines of creativity to ensure I’m ready for Monday…(you know keeping my brain cells focused on intense work over a weekend).

Let me define this useful item, (rarely used by celebrity males at least two we’re aware of which keeps mass production in check), as a sheath or protective barrier (it’s also defined as such by Wikipedia, a link above). And, a protective barrier has many uses in social media…here are three for you:

  • **How do you protect your Facebook page from getting spammed with negative comments? Let’s ask Burson-Marstellar! Why, you just remove the unacceptable posts from unfriendlies and hope for the best (aka suffer the backlash).
  • **How do you protect your Twitter account from being seen by your boss? You keep it locked and only accept tweeps by approval, of course. For sure; that’s a marvelous way to grow a community and engage, isn’t it?
  • **How do you add more subscribers and commenters to your blog posts? You take off the protective barrier and hope that posts like this don’t offend anyone. And, if your “subscribe” widget isn’t working or you miss the deadline for the Feedburner distribution by 20 minutes, that really helps protect anyone from reading a really bad Saturday post that truly stretches it.

That is all.

14 comments
JohnAkerson
JohnAkerson

These problems are about character and preparation. Preparation cannot really ever overcome bad character. The condom (as metaphor or in reality) is one way to prepare, and it isn't EVER really going to be enough.  Why?  The condom probably prevents  the pregnancy, the child-support, the tabloids following offspring, and those sorts of consequences. It doesn't bleach a black-stained heart. It doesn't change a person's *character.* It doesn't prevent infidelity... and the behavior is the problem, not the resulting children or other consequences. 

In Twitter terms, putting a condom on your account and locking it down makes it enormously less valuable. It also raises the question - "what are you hiding?"If one solution, in condom terms, is to say and do things that nobody knows about - to scream only in space where nobody can hear you scream... or to say nothing -  then a better solution is to ONLY say and do things that you are comfortable saying and doing. Say and do ONLY things that - if anyone saw what you said, video'd it, recorded it, testified about it, broadcasted it... you would be ok with the consequences. If you use social media to connect a product line to an anti-government uprising, be ready for the backlash. If you get with the maid, despite decades with your wife, be ready - be prepared - be comfortable to part with half of your fortune. (and maybe 80% of your fans)  Again, this doesn't reflect or change *character.*

For a company or person to have character - the first step is to adopt and incorporate the sort of Googlian saying: "Don't be evil" into a company's or person's fabric.  Google's idea is to not behave badly, to not do bad things. They might say - "Although we are necessarily profit-driven public company, we will do our best to do things which aren't evil, and to not do things which are evil"   That's behavior, which is important, but it is probably just a start, and doesn't extend the core of character.The solution is to find a way for your character to be such that the good things are part of your fabric. Having character makes the maid off-limits. Having good character means that you don't attach the spring fashion line to a group of people dying to overthrow a government.  Having good character means that you might not consider doing PR for a client (when you KNOW that they want anonymous representation because of their nefarious strategy of throwing mud on their competitors.)  Burson-Marstellar's numerous "PR Agency of the Year" awards might become a footnote, to an easier to remember "We throw dirt on Google's social media, for Facebook, anonymously"  That may not be fair for all the good work they do, but that sort of thing happens over and over, historically.

Having good character can certainly be less profitable in the short run...   but having bad character will almost always hurt in the long run.  What are the first things you think of when you think of "Thomas Jefferson?" Founding Father? Principal author of the US Constitution? First Secretary of State? Third President?   Or do you think of Sally Hemmings?   And if, 200 years later, a former US President and distinguished statesman is so well known because he fathered children with a woman who was, at the time, his slave, and that man did all the significant things that Thomas Jefferson did, then how can bad character EVER be worthwhile to a person or company in the long run?

The JackB
The JackB

 I never believe that I can create a hermetic seal around my social media actions. If it is posted online it is fair game. There are too many digital crumbs left lying around, too many different ways that people can access my words. So I try to never post anything that I can't back up.

Soulati
Soulati

Yeah, but she just saw that comment...cuz I told her...(kidding!).

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

I'm with Erica - I just laughed out loud! Do not get me started on Arnold. That is the ultimate betrayal. And to think this woman LIVED in their house and gave birth to her son FIVE days apart from Maria giving birth. Two pregnant women, one house, one man. It's something I would kill over; I'm certain of it. And I'm jealous it's hot. I've been waiting for the rain to stop so I can ride outside, but alas! I think I'll be relegated to the trainer.

Erica Allison
Erica Allison

 Ha! You make me laugh out loud! Love your Saturday stream of conscious flow you've got going there, sista! I'm forever missing the feedburner distribution with my posts...oh well, I just view that as extending the post, 'giving it legs' for a few days more!  Love the picture up top.  What was he thinking?!!??

Michelle Quillin
Michelle Quillin

John Akerson, you speak my language. Well said, and bravo! Thank-you for taking the time to express this!

Soulati
Soulati

This comment is oh so wonderful; thanks for leaving it here. I'll be adapting for a post, John. Thanks so much.

davinabrewer
davinabrewer

This was amazing John. Nothing is foolproof, nothing 100% effective.. only thing is you and character. Do you step up behind the decisions and actions you've made or hem and haw and hide when caught. Agree w/ everyone about how a secret like this was kept for so long, and the decision to come out w/ it now. Your TJ example at the end.. bad people may do good things, or a very smart, good person may have questionable character at times just as businesses' core ethics will always be called into question.

In social media, I'm with @TheJackB:disqus  and you cannot undo what's been done, Google will remember, there are no privacy settings too safe. If you or your friends choose to live their lives and conduct their business online and in public view, that's that. You either accept that there will be friends you lose and jobs you won't get b/c of what's out there.. or you watch those breadcrumbs and take care w/ what you post. FWIW.

Soulati
Soulati

It's becoming more challenging to keep caution ahead of posting, IMHO, Jack. I erred on Friday posting a Facebook comment and had forgotten a family member had friended me. While the comment meant nothing to 99% of my friends, it meant something to one person who took offense. Thanks for being here.

JohnAkerson
JohnAkerson

SO funny, Gini, Maybe some TV would help:  HBO is showing "Big Love", TLC has "Sister Wives" or maybe you can catch one of his movies... May I suggest: Raw Deal, Twins, Terminator, The Villain, The Expendables, Collateral Damage, Eraser, or True Lies?  Hmmm

Soulati
Soulati

Will be very interesting when these love children come of age to be stalked by the paparazzi. We've got Anna Nicoles, John Edwards, Arnie and who knows whom else. It's not their fault! But can't imagine Arnie's kids opening a welcome mat to their half brother. If you didn't see my note to Erica below, Arnie is smug as a bug b/c HE broke the news about this himself! Doesn't EVER happen that way.

Soulati
Soulati

I was thinking how much more smug this guy is b/c HE broke the news to the LATimes! He was able to keep it secret and that's just not done. Hmm, maybe b/c he had both his women living in the same household nursing babies at the same time...that may help...and $$ of course.

Michelle Quillin
Michelle Quillin

Ugh, Jayme! So sorry that happened to you! I had a cringe-worthy moment on our Facebook Page today. I can't explain further here, but let's just say it caused a minor firestorm here in the office! We had to have an emergency meeting about how to handle it. The comment and my reply have since been deleted, but that's a whole other issue! Will people think I deleted the commenter's post, when she's the one who chose to take it down? Should I have left my reply to her up for those who never got a chance to read my response?

Sometimes we just have to go with our gut and hope for the best.