First off, let me say that while it’s one of favorite movies, “Help” is incredibly dated and more than a bit politically incorrect, what with it’s portrayal of a Thugee cult’s “filthy Eastern ways.” Still, it’s funny and goofy and Eleanor Bron was kinda cool when she kept trying to warn Paul that Ringo was in danger by saying “I can say no more…” to the point of Paul responding “say no more” every time she approached him.
I broke out my VHS copy (!) of the movie the other day when my cable was out and watched it again. I don’t think anyone remotely connected to the part of the world they were lampooning was cast in any of the roles of Eastern (Indian?) cultists… Probably for the best, although the film manages to make wicked sport of the British too.
So why am I referencing a 44-year old movie that almost never even shows up on TV anymore? It’s all about talking too much. Or writing too much. I was in a discussion today about the whole social networking phenomenon.
One of the people I follow on Twitter uses the screen name of “Key Influencer.” His job is to help businesses understand how to take advantage of things like Twitter and Facebook and blogs as non-traditional ways to reach consumers.
He made the news after coming to Memphis some months ago to talk to members of the communications department of a major corporation that’s headquartered in the city. After running into some rudeness when he got to his hotel, he went on Twitter and said: “True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say ‘I would die if I had to live here!’” Of course that came out right about the time he was making his presentation. There was a lot of tap dancing around that particular incident.
Some places (such as ones with the company referenced in the preceding paragraph) encourage their people to take advantage of social networking. Of course, there are pitfalls, as mentioned in this About.com post concerning how it can impact looking for work. On the one hand, many experts recommend using any avenue to get out information on yourself when you’re looking for work. On the other, having the wrong type of information about yourself can color a prospective employer’s view. So you may not want to post that picture of you spinning around the stripper pole during that wild weekend in Cabo. The same article also points out: “Employees have been fired when their employer construed their blog posts as sharing confidential information, making inappropriate comments about the company, or both.” Although most places would be happy if their employees would use a good amount of caution before blogging or posting about potentially sensitive information.
Taking advantage of social networking can make the world a smaller place. You’re able to connect with people you might not otherwise come into contact with, as well as having the opportunity to reconnect with people from other times in life. It can be a great feeling to hear from someone you haven’t communicated with in 10, 20 or 30 years, simply because you’re both on Facebook.
Still, like anything else, it has to be approached with some level of responsibility. I haven’t always done that myself. But I know that it’s not a smart idea to swing ideas around cyberspace like a saber — too many opportunities to cut off your own head. Saying something directly to someone can be ephemeral; a thought expressed that’s here, then gone, between the two sharing the communication. Going online is like tagging the side of a building with spray paint; it lasts a lot longer and more people see it.