Getting Into Techno-Trouble

We all know of a certain Detroit Mayor that was involved in a texting scandal. He never thought that the text messages he sent would ever get him caught, or a certain football player that tweeted about his coach and then ended up sitting for the majority of the season, just to be traded to another team. Celebrities are constantly on twitter updating their status to the world, which has only gotten easier with today’s free technology at everyone’s fingertips.

Fortunately we live in a very technological time in human history where you can access an infinite amount of information online. Unfortunately, with e-mail, tweets, facebook, myspace, blogging, and endless other free outlets, it is very easy to learn about someone’s personal or professional life that they post on these sites. I could put a status change saying that “I am going to a movie” or “had a terrible day at work, my boss is a jerk” and within seconds friends can comment on my status. Also, on these sites you can message your friends and co-workers, basically having a conversation in a chat. While many of these sites were created to help stay in touch with family and long lost friends, these sites can also get you into trouble, especially if you are a leader in your community.

As a leader in a co-operative we must understand that other people have access to these tweets, blogs, or status updates. Simple comments could turn into a hostile environment if the wrong things are said, or interpreted to your detriment and someone else’s benefit. What is even worse is that every single word you write could be copied, pasted and used as evidence that you said it. Be conscious of what you put out in the technological world because it can, and often does, come back to haunt you.

Unlike the Mayor and the football player you still have the chance to avoid controversy. If you are thinking about something that is annoying you about a tenant that is about to be evicted it is best not to tweet, blog or status update about it. Stay calm and let your attorney handle it. Don’t get caught up in a “he said, she said” argument. Contact your attorney if the tenant does anything brash, it is best to bite your tongue and keep your fingers off the keyboard. Be rational not emotional. You don’t want to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Remember, as a leader, the eyes are always on you so you have little room for error.