Tag Archive for: reputation

Pink trash: An internet-era reminder

Financial Times

photo: herdeirodocaos33

The cook’s question caught my ear as she spoke loudly across the small hotel’s quiet breakfast room.

Where did you get that pink newspaper in your hotel room trash? We were talking about it,” said the cook, who also served as waitress.

Whoa! Who knew that the maid and the cook talk? Or maybe the cook did double-duty as a maid. In any event, it’s unusual for most of us to be asked about our trash, even if we discard exotic newspapers, such as the salmon-pink Financial Times.

This question made me think about how often we’re unaware of people watching us. Being curious about others is human nature. But the scale of observation has increased dramatically with the internet.

The pink trash conversation was overheard only by my husband and me. But the audience could have been much larger if the waitress had asked her question on Twitter and automatically pushed it into her LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ feeds.

I am a big fan and beneficiary of social media. But every once in a while it’s important for me—and you—to remember that others may be silently watching us.