Your employer likes this

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 It is arguable that Facebook has changed our everyday lives, it allows us to share news with all our friends at once and we can in turn see what everyone else is up to, but just how much sharing is too much? Who do you share all your updates with? Would you tell your boss that you were so drunk that you were pushed home in a trolley in the office on a Monday? So why would you allow them to see it on Facebook including pictures?

According to a survey by The Ponemon Institute 76% of managers look up their interviewees on social networking sites before hiring them. This is especially common with college and university graduate, as the most social networking active age group, Sue Murphy from the US National Human Resources Association sheds light on this “For people new to a field, companies just don’t have a lot to look back on. They can’t call up your former boss. They look you up on Facebook.” The survey shows that Health care professionals and those working in financial and legal services are the highest group of employers to search for their prospective employees, this is thought to be due to the fact that they are representing their company and any online activity reflects on the company if they are known to be affiliated with them.

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Because of often-unclear privacy settings on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, prospective employees are largely unaware that this happens. They therefore think it is wrong that employers look them up on their own “personal space”; these are the people that don’t understand how big and open anything you put in the public domain is.  It is important to update your privacy settings on Facebook regularly and if you’re prone to ranting on Twitter, private your tweets.

 According to a survey by Reppler the following percentage of prospective employees have been rejected from a job opportunity for the following:

  • Inappropriate photos- 11%
  • Content relating to drug use- 10%
  • Negative comments about employer/ company- 11%
  • Lied about qualifications- 13%

In more recent years Twitter has been a breeding ground for offensive tweets which have led to disciplinary action, with those in employment sending tweets from their professional accounts and members of marketing and PR teams tweeting personal views from the main company account. In a lot of cases this has meant severe apologies and investigations as well as having a negative affect on the company. Below is a tweet sent by Gloria Huang, an employee of The American Red Cross on the wrong account. There were no grounds for dismissal prior to this tweet as it was recognised as simply a mistake. The beer company Dogfish Head retweeted it and encouraged their followers to donate to the Red Cross.

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The next hurdle if you are employed is whether or not you add your work colleagues on social media sites, it is generally regarded as a courtesy that if you are friends with someone you should add/ accept their friend requests on Facebook, but this needn’t be the case in employment. The important thing to remember is that if you do add your colleagues or even your boss that this is no longer just a social space, you could potentially be judged on your behaviour on nights out, what you wear and your attitudes. Facebook however allows you to hide each individual post and photo or group of photos from certain people, meaning you can still maintain your social space and it won impact negatively on your employment. In order to prohibit employees from posting opinions about aspects and the company, their colleagues and its clients, many bigger companies now have a social media policy, it is down to the employee to read and review their behaviour in accordance to this.

The one solution to avoid termination or rejection of employment is simple; if its not something you would be happy with your grandma knowing- don’t post it.

References

‘Job candidates getting tripped up by Facebook’, NBC News. [Available at: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/20202935/ns/business-school_inc_/t/job-candidates-getting-tripped-facebook/#.UVBgv1u9XQQ] (Date accessed March 2013)

‘How Facebook can kill your job chances and  more’, Deseret News. [Available at: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700187011/How-Facebook-can-kill-your-job-chances-and-more.html?pg=all] (Date accessed March 2013)

‘Fired for Facebook’, About.com. [Available at: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/employeerights/a/fired-for-facebook.htm] (Date Accessed: March 2013)

‘How your online profile can affect your job prospects’, Jobsite. [Available at: http://www.jobsite.com/guides/online-profile-job-prospects/] (Date Accessed: March 2013)

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Social networking – Who What When?

Social networking is an integral part of modern life; it’s common practice to check Facebook when we wake up, tweet our plans for the day and Instagram our outfits all before we leave the house. With this in mind, it’s hard to imagine that the first networking site only started fourteen years ago. So how did we get from occasional blogging to updating the world on our every move? This is what my blog seeks to explore.

The year is 1999, Ricky Martin is currently number one with Living La Vida Loca, there are talks of a single currency being ntroduced in mainland Europe and the world is about to embark on a new technological era. Social networking started life with LiveJournal, launched as a place to store and share an online journal; blogging was the rudimentary wave of Social networking. In the same year Friends Reunited, remembered as the first real social networking site, launched to help locate past school, university and work friends. The wheels were then in motion for the social networking revolution

By 2004 MySpace and Friendster were battling it out for the most popular social networking sites, MySpace surpassed Friendster, but nobody anticipated the impact of a website created as a form of Yearbook at Harvard University, the little known Facebook. In 2006 MySpace was the most popular American social networking website, thought Facebook, which had just widened the membership to everyone over 13 was quickly gaining more monthly views. In 2006 the micro blogging site Twitter was launched, the premise of the site was interacting with succinct statuses (or tweets) in 140 characters or less. In 2007 Facebook was expanding so much that Microsoft had bought a stake in it. This allowed them to launch Facebook Platform meaning third party developers could create applications (apps). It also launched Beacon Advertising systems, it was targeted by protesters as it allowed advertisers to access users purchasing data to personalise marketing campaigns. In the same year Apple launched the first ever Smartphone, the iPhone.

By 2009 Facebook had become the most popular social networking site with double the amount of users as MySpace.  However citizen journalism was about to explode via twitter with the breaking of a plane crash on the Hudson River before American news teams, starting with a single tweet from a ferry passenger.  It is estimate that a quarter of the worlds population are internet users. As we entered a new decade, social networking had become the third most popular news source with users looking for unique takes and opinions on the latest news stories. In 2011 the Internet had become part of everyday life with 550 million people on Facebook, 65 million tweets sent through Twitter each day, and 2 billion video views every day on YouTube. LinkedIn has 90 million professional users, expanded by the popularity of Smartphones. However with us sharing so much online was our privacy at risk?

And back up to today; around 2 billion people use the Internet on everything from computers to game consoles, however by 2015 it is estimated that this will have doubled.  The top ten social networks are Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, MySpace and Wikia. To prove how much social media is accepted it is reported that almost a third of young adults 18-24 use social media in the bathroom.

So who is the core demographic of social networking sites? The following was found from the Pingdom US Demographics study

Although social networking is often seen as the playground of the young, the average user of a social networking site is between 25 and 44 years old. This is because although the age range for users of the social networking giants such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn maybe large, that of smaller, much newer, or more niche communities such as DeviantART and Reddit is quite narrow, with the average user being 35 years old. LinkedIn, with its focus more on the business networking side rather than general social networking unsurprisingly has the highest average age, that of 44.

Since the last study the average age of Facebook users has gone up 2 years whilst that of Twiter users have come down 2 years, thus indicating that either the latter is attracting more of a younger user group or that the users had simply aged 2 years in the normal course of time and the study simply has not taken that into account. It has also been seen that whilse technology based sites appeal to men, women are more drawn towards more creative and sharing sites such as Pinterest. Although that may be the case, statistics prove that Twitter and Facebook happen to have the ratio of male to female users with women taking the lead on both sites.

The one thing that can be ascertained from this research is that Social Networking is definitely here to stay and can only get bigger.

References

The Brief History of Social Media’, UNCP. [Available at: http://www.uncp.edu/home/acurtis/NewMedia/SocialMedia/SocialMediaHistory.html] (Date Accessed January 2013).

‘Report: Social network demographics in 2012’, Pingdom.com [Available at:
http://royal.pingdom.com/2012/08/21/report-social-network-demographics-in-2012/] (Date Accessed February 2013).


‘Social media statistics 2012[Infographic]’ The Wall.
[Available at: http://wallblog.co.uk/2012/11/05/social-media-statistics-2012-from-facebook-and-twitter-to-instagram-and-pinterest-infographic/ (Date Accessed February 2013).

‘Social Media Statistics and Facts 2012 [Infographic]’ Go Globe [Available at: http://www.go-globe.com/blog/social-media-facts/] (Date Accessed: March 2013).