How very ironic that the just-relieved-of-command USS Enterprise skipper‘s last name is Honors, particularly since the end of his career in the US Navy (trust me, kids – he’s through) demonstrates a singular lack of honor, and of common sense.
If you haven’t been paying attention, here are the basic facts:
- Capt. Owen Honors, who was executive officer (XO) of the Enterprise 2005-2007, and who took command of the ship last year, put together an “XO Movie Night” video in 2006. It had fun stuff in it like girl-on-girl shower scenes (using sailors under his command), verbal gay-bashing (using sailors under his command), and other light-hearted escapades. Here’s one magnum opus from the series:
- The videos weren’t seen off the decks of the Enterprise, at least not by any news organizations, until Jan. 1, 2011 (Happy New Year, US Navy!) when they hit heavier than a tax audit.
- Sailors who served under Honors (typing that phrase in this context makes me cringe) raced on over to Facebook, and put up a fan page for the skipper, which as I type this has over 11,000 fans.
- Today, the Navy relieved Capt. Honors of command of the Enterprise.
I bring all this up not because I have family connections to six Naval Academy classes going back to 1916, including my dad (’44), my grandfather (’16), my brother (’85) and my cousin (a classmate of Capt. Honors ’83), and the fact that I was born in the USNA hospital on Hospital Point. Although that does give me a dog in this fight.
This is a perfect example of the dangers of diving into social media without some kind of social-media-SCUBA-gear. Or what could just be called brains.
If you shoot it, and post it ANYWHERE, even on a “secure” site, someone will watch it. And if they have access, they can download it.
If even ONE of those people is unhappy with you for any reason, they can fire off a video heard (and seen) ’round the world, and wipe out your career with one “play video” click.
If you shoot it on federal government equipment, and it resides on federal computers for any time at all, you’re double-screwed.
Want to spread a powerful message? Social media can be an outstanding tool for making that happen. Want to blow up your life, leaving collateral damage all over the map? Social media can help you there, too.
It’s up to you to decide which side of that line you want to wind up on. Act accordingly.
That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it…