DEAR LORD LAMINGTON,
I was just perusing my Facebook profile and I am tagged in some awfully embarrassing photos of me drunk at a party wearing a pink feather boa and a paper Burger King crown. It was supposed to be ironic, but now, it just seems undignified. It certainly doesn’t project the image of the serious investment banker my clients respect and trust with great sums of money.
How does one cultivate a refined character in the oft-undignified arena of social media?
— Embarrassed and Kicking Myself
DEAR EMBARRASSED AND KICKING,
Drunken frivolity is no new invention in our modern day, but its vast exposure resembles the toxicity of the Black Death. Commerce and our perception of delegation strictly runs on the ignorance of what occurs in the private lives of those with whom we do business. Regrettably, the quick flash of a camera and the advent of “social media” shakes the confidence of our fragile reputationbased system.
If you are to possess an air of regality in such trying times, I advise you divorce these unbecoming markers. Your eyes cannot stay open always and your ears are nearly never on long enough to safeguard your reputations. I will borrow the words of Alexander Pope: “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” And too few of us forgive the ghastly sight of a pink feather boa enough to call our lot “angelic”!
Now for actionable measures, it is always good practice to condition ourselves to certain stimuli. As an example, think of Pavlov’s dogs who salivated at the ring of his bell. In your case, for when you see a camera or a cell phone in the motions, you ought to snap out of whatever happy stupor you had got into. A foolish picture taken is not the end; it can be removed or altered, but a picture exposed because we are too sheepish to confront the taker can assure a dead career!
Of course I would suggest you select your relations and social gatherings with prudence, but life does not always offer the luxury of a prejudiced (and selective) personal society. Therefore, if prevention is not a remedy, leveraging your control may be your only saving grace – so to speak.
Sincerely yours, Lord Lamington
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by Laura A. Roser
CEO and Founder of Paragon Road
#1 Expert in Meaning Legacy Planning