Recently Chris Brogan posted about a young woman who was looking for a job and then out of frustration (I hope) wrote a letter to a potential employer stating what they could do (not nice visual). Chris asked if you would hire this person. I lodged my two cents and thought no more of this. Then, I recently had the opportunity to experience the workmanship of a young person promoting an event on a Facebook group page that I administer.

First, let me clarify, our Facebook group let any member post to the timeline, and usually it has to do with our purpose (preservation and protection of a national historic site and public recreational area). In the past, this person has promoted meetings for a social green group that meets and discusses local projects and promotes those meetings on our non-profit group page.  We like and support green. We like clean water and air.  Good stuff except for one project which has divided our group membership and half the city.  It is volatile and unresolved as of this writing.

What to do? Will people think we endorse this viewpoint? Will half of our membership go nuts over this invite?

After she posted the invitation, I asked her to refrain from doing so because of our divided membership. I did this via a message and not a public post based on my daughter’s advice. I also suggested that asking before posting to someone’s group page would be less rude. I guess I was out of line. First, she was apologetic, then launched into a tirade about censorship, sabotage (yes, I didn’t get the connection either), and how things are done on Facebook.  I stand corrected, at least for the moment.

What happened in this exchange that lead to a rather ridiculous conclusion: she posted something snarky which forced me to delete her event and comment. Where does it say that when asked to stop doing something, it becomes all about the individual and not the action. I stated that her post needed to have some sensitivity given the division and derision going on. She made it all about her. I was not nice.

Is this inexperience or just unprofessional?

I love working with young people (young in my terms is someone in the 20 – 40 year old range). I learn so much from them about technology, new thoughts, and different perspectives. However, does empathy only come with age and experience? Is the generation currently churning our media outlets capable of a perspective outside what they have built as their model, mantra or vision? Are they so right that everyone else is wrong.

I think I need to write a social etiquette book for people my age who apply a different set of rules to the social medium. Or maybe I need a tutorial. What do you think?