If you were to ask a physicist what the most abundant material was in the universe, he or she would put down their pipe (because female physicists also smoke pipes, fact), pick absentmindedly at the Sellotape holding their glasses together and proclaim ‘Hydrogen’. They would then talk at great length how the element is the answer to our impending energy woes, and the key to unlocking interplanetary travel, and thereafter, the stars.
Pish, posh and old wet fish.
If you were to ask me the same question, I would convincingly argue that the most plentiful substance was stupidity. It’s everywhere you look. There was a time when only buffoonery on a national or international scale would be deemed worthy of a headline. However, as the Internet has become more pervasive, so has our awareness of the dunderheads that walk amongst us. Facebook can sometimes be the perfect showcase for such people. For example, take the recent case of a teenage mother in Florida, who thought that it would be a jolly wheeze to post pictures of her 11 month old son playing with a bong. The picture landed the mother in the clink, even though drug tests on her child came back as negative. Defending her actions, she posted this on the site:
“If u look at the picture u can see that there is no bowl in the TABACCO [sic] pipe,”
Florida is also the home to Harry Bruder, 54. Harry fell foul of the law by repeatedly sending a friend request to his wife on Facebook. The snag was that they were soon to be divorced, and she had a protective order made against him, and the harassment landed him in jail.
Facebook idiocy is not just confined to the Sunshine State. Kim Stokes, a 36-year-old Telford woman, was claiming benefits as a single person. She was busted by the Department for Work and Pensions after posting pictures of herself, her husband and three children on the site. She was given a year’s community order, and will have to repay the £15,000 she wrongly claimed over a two year period.
Before I’m accused at laughing at the proles beating at the gates far beneath my office in StuckOn’s ivory tower, let me say that we ALL have the potential to do something stupid. The trick is in knowing where the potential for mistakes lie, and doing everything you can to ensure that they don’t happen. An individual posting incriminating pictures on Facebook is unlikely to employ the services of a reputable SEO company. However, by having a well thought out search engine optimisation and reputation management strategy, a business can give such forehead-slapping, Homer Simpson ‘D’oh!’ moments, a wide berth.