Is There Any Way For Me to “Unsee” That? Pretty Please?

When anyone talks about social media in the workplace, I always cringe. I just can’t help it. I immediately think of my two past employers’ Intranet sites and the random things that people would post there that they had for sale — like jars of apricot jam and doilies — or the ones who were so persistent about selling their kid’s Girls Scout cookies that they would spam everyone until they had a lifetime supply of peppermint patties.

Then there were the not-so-appropriate late afternoon comments that people would make regarding upcoming events that were listed on the company’s calendar or not-so-inclusive comments made in response to articles that were shared about creating more inclusive work environments. I recall the many times I would be shaking my head thinking that they clearly must have kicked back a few at lunch to be so emboldened to write what they did. And don’t get me started on the crazy photos from the company holiday parties complete with inappropriate facial expressions or hand gestures.

So yeah, that is how I feel about social media in the workplace — and I shudder to think that I worked at what most would consider “conservative” workplaces (a large law firm and then a large private law school)! If I had to choose just one emoji to sum up my feelings about social media in the workplace, I would choose one of the three wise monkeys, known as mizaru. Officially, he is known as the “see no evil” monkey (as a part of the proverb “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil”). But sometimes he is more playfully used in social media as a means of expressing the fact that someone did not want to see the particular thing that is posted — which is how I felt about at least 90% of the information shared on my previous employers’ Intranet sites.

See No Evil aka I Really Didn’t Want To See That!

This post is part of a blog series for a Social Media Management course that I am taking at MIT Sloan School of Management. For this blog, we were asked to select the emoji that best expresses our opinion around the topic of social media in the workplace. Based on your emoji, we were asked to highlight what excites or concerns us the most around social media in the workplace and to draw on our personal experiences.