Social Media Viral Advice May Be Foolish


“Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.”

When Solomon spoke those words thousands of years ago, he couldn’t fathom Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or Facebook. And yet, it seems as if he may’ve experienced something similar.

Two new trends “going viral” on social media in recent weeks involve advice about ending one’s employment. These posts are made by “Zoomers,” or those born in the “Generation Z” years of 1997 through 2012 or aged 11-26 years old.

First is the posted practice of quiet quitting where an employee does the very least possible at their job to be compensated without being reprimanded or terminated. This behavior was even written up in Harvard Business Review as its popularity manifested among Human Resource professionals dealing with an already difficult labor market and a shortage of individuals actually willing to work.

So, what has been the response to quiet quitting? In many cases, employees were terminated for cause, or because of a defined set of circumstances that is outside the prescribed work behavior, or due to misconduct. Intentionally inflicting a harm to a corporate culture has an impact upon others.

Others who decide to quietly quit are “quietly fired.” Meaning, that the supervisor or team leader begins the process of exposing the behavior, then making corrective actions that, unless terms are met, lead to demotion. In these cases, the process can lead to a sudden resignation of the “quiet quitter.”

The second employment tactic offered by these social media posters who view themselves to be expert, or at least well-versed enough to offer employment advice, involves quitting without any notice.

The customary two-week notice is just that, a professional courtesy extended by an employee who, for whatever reason, is ending an employment relationship at their existing company or business. It becomes valuable to do so if you expect or need a reference or recommendation in the future. Walking out of a job with no notice may empower the employee for whatever reason at the moment. But the impact made at that workplace that leaves a vacancy typically shifts work to co-workers and leaves customers–and in the case of healthcare–patients, with unmet needs and service.

A two-week notice is not legally required. But a professional or a conscientious employee extends courtesies and demonstrates empathy.

Why would either of these two behaviors prove to be “foolish” rather than just simply be viewed as immature and appropriate considering the nature of social media? Simple. Americans are living in a period of record inflation with prices doubling and even tripling on essentials such as groceries, housing and energy. Americans are being told to prepare for a recession, a worsening and extension of the same economic downturn.

While employers need workers, social media is monitored by HR departments and leaders who hire. Abrupt departures are red flags and may harm future employment.

In the case of social media advice, one might benefit from viewing it as entertainment rather than counsel to apply for life.