Getting fired because of a bad joke is certainly a painful experience on its own. But watching the joke as it makes its way to the front pages of major international newspapers, pushed by a global wave of public indignation, is definitely a lot worse. Especially when it's just a few days before Christmas.
Plumbing emergencies don't wait until it's convenient for you. Neither does searing toothache at 3am. When you've locked yourself out of your home, it's always the middle of the night. As much as we'd like to have a handy list of emergency service people on speed-dial, the truth is, we often turn to the internet to get hold of someone in a hurry.
Just like the adage "a picture is worth a thousand words", YOUR picture on search engines could be worth a great deal when it comes to your online reputation. If you want to do a quick check to find out what people are saying about you, or what has been written about you; you type your name into Google and the results are available in an instant.
Far too many people still think of the internet as a veil which they can hide behind and maintain an online persona that is private; the truth is somewhat more disturbing: The internet is a reflection of exactly who you are and if you're looking to impress, you'd better make sure that your reflection is a true and fair depiction of exactly who you are.