Social Media and the Workplace

As a senior in college, you understand what it is like to want to be social, and still have a life with all of your college friends, while on the other hand attempting to get ready to join the real world. More and more companies are using social media accounts to judge their potential employees before even hiring them, and as someone who is about to enter this world needs to know everything they can to prevent being unemployed because of a Facebook photo.

As one would think it is your own right and ability to have social media accounts, companies shouldn’t be allowed to use them against you. They are your own “property” which you decide to with how you please but instead, certain companies have begun to respond by introducing social media policies in their employee handbooks. So now you cannot link your job to any of your social media accounts, including the company website, and/or company logos. On top of that you cannot use profound language in any of your personal posts, especially when speaking about your managers and customers (Pike, 1). So now what you once thought was your own personal space to express your ideas and thoughts freely to your audience, now have rules and regulations. In Social Media And The Workplace: A Legal Minefield, Aswad states that “Recruitment is also gradually adapting, with HR professionals increasingly changing their recruitment methods, checking candidates’ social media profiles in search of tell-tale signs of bad character traits, such as excessive alcohol consumption, bad language or poor spelling on the candidate’s tweets and Facebook posts” (Aswad, 1).

Some people have their social media accounts set to public, which gives everyone the right to look at whatever material you post. But now lets say every single privacy measure you can take to make your account not available to any public eye is turned on. The law today is not updated to where is should be to deal with these types of situations. According to John P. Quirke in Social Media and The Workplace, compared to the speed of the Internet, the law is moving at a snail’s pace. Agreeing with what Aswad says in In Social Media And The Workplace: A Legal Minefield, there needs to be a balance between the employers right to protect their commercial interest, as well as the employees right to privacy. But this has not yet been met, and this creates a big problem with the Internet in today’s age.

 

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The picture above is a cartoon from Social Media in The Workplace, and it clearly shows how one mans career is affected by what he posted on his personal Facebook page. To show how common this problem is the woman shows this also happened to her. The last man shows that it doesn’t even have to be on Facebook, it happened from a video he posted. Companies have gone out of control with this. Yes there are some situations where what people post on the Internet is inappropriate and took their right to post too far. But not being able to speak freely in lets say a “tweet” for example, or post a family picture while in your bathing suit all because you may not get a job offer and/or get fired from your current job is ridiculous.

College student have enough on their plates while trying to earn a degree, and people who have jobs work hard for their money and deserve to post family vacation photos if they wish. The law needs to be updated so that the Internet is regulated and companies cannot just pay to receive private information. Or stalk public accounts to check if the prospective employee is acceptable for the job. The accounts are ones way to express his or herself and no one should be reprimanded for using it. If no one used social media accounts, companies wouldn’t have access to free advertising and research at the tips of their finger tips.

 

Works Cited

Aswad, Tina. Mondaq Business Briefing: Social Media and the Workplace. Mondaq Ltd., 08/11/2014. Web. 29 June 2015.

 

Pike, George H. “Social Media and the Workplace.” Information Today 11 2014: 1,1,25. ProQuest. Web. 29 June 2015 .

 

Quirke, John P. Security Management: Social Media and the Workplace. 56 Vol. American Society for Industrial Security, 02/01/2012. Web. 29 June 2015.

 

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