Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 30th 2017 Contents A26 life
guardian.co.tt Tuesday, May 30, 2017
In light of the recent travails of
local politicians, not to mention
those not too far in the past and
the great likelihood that future
mortars will offer more than
the pestle, these guidelines for
navigating the business of gov-
ernance in the 21st century may
prove useful to all who have a
Which these days, thanks to social
media, is pretty much everybody.
Whatever you post will haunt you.
There are three essential skills
for using social media. Copy, paste
and screenshot. Using these tools,
available on all electronic devices
capable of connecting to the web,
any user can capture and share an-
ything you have ever said or are ever
going to say. Assume that you are
being photographed, recorded on
video or audio or livestreamed, all
Don't think that somebody is go-
ing to miss that ill-advised rant you
posted at 3 am and then immediately
deleted. Somebody, somewhere, has
already captured it and like that aloo
pie you really shouldn't have eaten
quite that late, it's going to be back
in a form you don't care for.
Unless you live on SnapChat or
prefer disappearing stories in Insta-
gram, the posts you made in 2010 are
probably still around and available to
anyone with the stamina to endlessly
keep clicking "Load more."
If you're just regular folk, you may
be interested to know that employers
in foreign are now not just examining
social media profiles not for personal
They are also rejecting job appli-
cants who don't reveal themselves
sufficiently on social media, claim-
ing that they can't get a read on their
Don't underestimate the Trini ca-
pacity for macoing your business. If
you posted it, you may have forgot-
ten it, but social media doesn't. If it's
there, people will dig for it with the
enthusiasm of a forensic investigator
because they have nothing better to
do right then.
Heaven knows how much dirt has
been unearthed and dished while
people were waiting for a late bus
You don't have to post the sword
you die by.
If you're looking over your shoul-
der at the vigilant and relentless
media, you're looking in the wrong
place. Instead, walk outside your
plush office and look around at the
cubicles that house your staff. This
is where espionage lives.
Some of the material leaked on the
goings on at the Ministry of Youth
and Sport (MYSA) appears to have
been captured on a smartphone
deep investigations into the min-
istry's email servers were pointless.
Everybody has the perfect 1960's
spy device, one that Q would have
loved to give 007, in their pocket.
And people don't even have to hate
you to out you. They may be moti-
vated by that almost forgotten in-
centive, awareness of an injustice,
to snap a photo of something and
then send it along to someone who
can make use of it.
Or they might be bored and think
it would be a laugh to see what hap-
pens. Give people meaningful work
and job satisfaction and they may
prove less likely to sell you out. Or
maybe more. Work it out and see.
It's not just you.
People around you will post inno-
cently about stuff they are doing that
they enjoy. They may have no sense
that something wrong is happening
or that recording what they are doing
is probably a bad idea.
That Instagram snap of the Sport
Minister's personal assistant Cin-
dy Cupid enjoying life on the links
in the sun at the Magdalena Grand
edly during the controversial THA
Sports Awards trip was, possibly,
even more incriminating than the
documents recording the particulars
of the trip itself. It was a definitive
illustration of Ronnie McIntosh's
warning, "how it go look?"
Optics are everything in the world
of social media and cameras are
trained on public figures and any-
body remotely interesting from mul-
tiple angles and you have no control
over any of it or how it's distributed.
The court of social media opinion
is convened with lightning speed,
gathers evidence with stunning ef-
ficiency and sometimes, even accu-
racy and delivers judgement like a
hammer, often before you are aware
that something is happening.
Your choice is simple. Be George
Washington and strive to tell the
truth and actually live the life you
espouse or be Donald Trump and
own your malfeasance with enthu-
siasm and vigour. There is no longer
any middle ground.
This could be the
reaction to a scandal on
any day on social media.
PHOTO BY AVEMARIO/
New media tips for T&T politicians...and you
Members of the Wasafoli Dance Company during their presentation Ajuba --- Paying Homage to those
Before and After Us at Daaga Hall on UWI's St Augustine campus on Thursday. PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
TO THE ANCESTORS
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