Sometimes, the urge to say something, anything is unbelievable. Halfway through your office party, and after your eighth glass of red, that awful man that heads up your sales team saunters up to you. He says something breathtakingly inappropriate, and sidles off, hands in pockets, possibly whistling. You are left red-faced, and more than a little outraged. Heading to the toilet to calm down, you can’t resist a quick tweet. ‘So-and-so from Sales just said this!’ you type furiously. ‘What an idiot. #[insertcompanyname]’. And that’s your first mistake.
The trick to enjoying social media during the party season is very simple. If you find yourself wanting to say or post anything that you know will a) enrage someone else or b) compromise your job, beware. Here are Further’s top tips for keeping your reputation intact this December:
1) When you’re out and about, get off Twitter. The whole night. Tweeting about how much fun you’re having looks ridiculous, and to be honest, who cares? The chances are, everyone else is also at a party. Constantly drawing attention to the wild night you’re having always looks faintly absurd; it’s a sad paradox. Avoid at all costs.
2) Hold your tongue. Emboldened by alcohol, you finally pluck up the courage to comment underneath a hated colleague’s photo with a pithy remark, such as ‘You look like a pig in a dress.’ This may well be funny in the ladies’ loos, when you’re surrounded by a gaggle of giggling pals egging you on. The chances are, this will stop being funny when aforementioned hated colleague approaches your desk at 9.03am on Monday morning, and then tells your boss.
3) Be discreet. If you do find yourself sharing a kiss with a colleague, try and make sure you’re away from prying eyes (and camera phones.) There’s nothing worse than finding out a romantic moment exists in photo form. Of course, we’d never recommend a smooch with a colleague, but as long as you’re both single, do so at your own risk!
4) Consideration is key. Let your boss enjoy that huge chocolate mousse she ordered, and allow her to eat it drunkenly in the corner. Don’t feel the need to post a picture of her private moment all over Twitter. The lady works hard. Allow her this moment of indignity with the mousse.
5) If you’re sat next to people you don’t know very well, and the conversation is lacking somewhat, resist the urge to get your phone out and pass the time by checking out photos of your ex on Facebook. Not only is this the height of rudeness, but it’s also a tad narrow-minded. Give these people a chance. After a few glasses of wine, you may find out things about Gavin from Accounts that will make you see him in a whole new light.
6) Finally, remember, alcohol has a set of inverse laws; the commonest being the cleverer you think you’re being, the sillier you are. If you tweet or post a negative thinly-veiled reference that you think won’t be noticed, and you believe is the social media equivalent of the enigma code, believe us, it will. Tweeting ‘Some things just go on and on and on…’ during the MDs speech isn’t big or clever. It just makes you look like you have a bad attitude. Which most MDs don’t like.
These guidelines are mainly common sense. However, if you’re absolutely desperate to get on Facebook after you get home, there’s nothing wrong with a happy, energetic status update saying what an ace night you’ve had. You can go to bed smelling faintly of gin, party streamers in your hair, and most importantly, your reputation fully intact. Hurrah.