A Stroke of the Key

Aug 12, 2012 by

One: Human nature is a funny thing…we have a tendency to let everyone know when we are unhappy with someone, something, or an event. If we go to a restaurant, hair salon or doctor’s office and have poor service, everyone we see in the next few days will hear about it. We can then retell what took place, as we saw it, it’s  our opinion, so we can say whatever we like. However, if we have a great meal, manicure or office visit, we tend to take it for granted and go on our merry way without a word, unless specifically asked about it.

Two: Not that far in the past, word of mouth was a VERY important means of advertising. There was even a commercial for a well-known shampoo that showed a gorgeous model with beautiful hair; the tag-line was “you tell two friends (the screen split, doubling the model) and she’ll tell two friends (again, the screen split, doubling the models) and she’ll tell two friends (again, the screen split, doubling the models) and so on, and so on”…you can see where this is going.

Three:When you have done a good job and someone, like you boss, notices it, you get an “attaboy!”, similarly, do a poor job and you will receive an “ah shoot!” (G-rated version). As this goes, 100 “attaboys!” can be wiped out by one “ah shoot!”. Your reputation is only as good as your last task or job.

Now, if you blend all three ideas together and add it to the Internet; invented by Vice President Al Gore (He is never going to live that one down.), you have a new weapon. With new forums in technology; Twitter, Facebook, blogging and rating sites the  “…just stating my opinion” can have a devastating effect on those written about, with just a quick stroke of the “submit/enter” key. You see, once anything is on the Internet, it is there to stay… Even if the material posted is retracted, it can turn up again, as it is never truly erased. Also, once someone has read it, that seed of doubt, mistrust and negative impression has been planted, and may continue to grow, as the blog is then repeated as fact…”Well, I read this article…”.When searching for a person, phone number, address or business name on the internet, a search-engine  like Google or Bing will instantly produce multiple sites to go to for information…any reference to the name/keyword(s) typed in will be listed, good or bad. Now billions (Yes, billions!) have access to this “opinion”.

With our pension for the negative, having blogged (written) the unfavorable details of the not so great experience, how many would actually go back and blog that perhaps a mistake had been made, the situation had been misinterpreted, or maybe it was “our” bad day, not the waitress’. Would the apology or straightening out the facts ever make front-page? Would it have the same impact as the negative statements first touted? Does the damage to that person’s or business’ reputation, ever, really get undone? Who is to stop someone from intentionally doing this type of irreparable reputation damage to any of us?

Technology can be a wonderful tool or a deadly weapon…are we really using it wisely?




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