We covered in Chapter 1 why there is such a thirst and demand for social media. But what does social media demand from us? While hundreds of millions of people have discovered the benefits of social media, some people and companies have also experienced the potential pitfalls of such mass transparency.
More than a few students have been kicked out of universities for collaborating on Twitter, hi5, Facebook, MySpace, and the like on assigned individual school projects. It's old news that potential employers haven't hired some people because of inappropriate content or associations on their LinkedIn or Facebook pages. Or, how about the teachers who have been asked to step down for overtly sexual content within their social networks? There's also the famous Jeff Jarvis blog post about Dell's inadequate customer service.
So what does this all mean? Are social networks powerful enough to cause an adjustment in personal and corporate behavior on a macro-level? You bet your camera phone they are. This is why we are seeing governments starting to step in to help try and regulate social media. Hopefully the social media suppliers can self-regulate as much as possible.
The 20-something now thinks twice about getting so drunk that she blacks out and can't remember how she wound up in the hammock of a stranger's backyard. Cameras document everything, and technologies like Facebook's Mobile Upload and "tagging" can disseminate a naked keg stand to ...