That time of year is once again upon us. The festive season, or more accurately the silly season, is a time of year in which diets, budgets and all too often common sense are thrown out the window.

We have all heard the story of the ‘friend of a friend’ who, having overindulged at the work Christmas party, informed their boss in no uncertain terms just exactly how they felt about his/her management style.  Once the hangover had passed, unsurprisingly the ‘friend of a friend’ found their position at work was less than tenable.

In a world so fond of social media, you don’t just have to watch what you say directly to your boss as there is no longer such thing as a comment made in ‘private’. Any comment made in the company of someone with a smartphone can be posted and viewed by someone on the other side of the world before you have had time to finish your ill-fated sentence.

A recent spate of celebrity foot in mouth syndrome only serves to highlight the need for care when expressing some of your more ‘truthful’ opinions.

At a caddies award night, former Tiger Woods bagman, Steve Williams referred to his former employer as a “b**** a*******”.  Due to the miracle that is social media, Fleet Street was reporting these comments before Williams had finished uttering ‘hole’ – no, not the one at the end of the fairway.

Apparently out of context footage of former teen queen Miley Cyrus proudly proclaiming her fondness for medicinal grass was posted online by a ‘friend’ attending her 21st birthday party. The resultant headlines somewhat tarnished the Disney star’s squeaky clean reputation.

The list of private comments, private status updates and private e-mails that have gone viral is extensive, and it is not just celebrities who have found themselves in hot water.

An employee of The Good Guys in Townsville was recently sacked for posting a none-too-flattering performance review of his boss on Facebook, possibly as a result of the extensive use of four letter words. Powerful. Not wise.

As the Christmas party season kicks off perhaps the best bet is to disable your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Alternatively, instead of taking your mobile out with you, step back in time and pack a pocket phonebook and some change.

Then, as long as you can resist the temptation to photocopy your backside, you can enjoy a happy, safe and enjoyable festive season.

Merry Christmas!

image credit : *(Ian)* – Ian Howard