Inappropriate Social Media Posts & the Affect it can have on your Job

Social media has become an integral part of modern society. There are niche sites for virtually every special interest out there. You can share photos, videos, post status updates about what time you got out of bed to what time you took your shower and how your work day was. You can also stay connected or reconnect with old friends.

Ponder this for a moment…general social networks have user bases larger than the population of most countries. Now if this doesn’t make you want to run over to your pc and setup your own online screen name then nothing will. If you get the urge to do so, there’s a few things you need to know.

Public sharing of personal information has become the norm. It’s not unheard of for someone to share frustrations, post photos of their weekend antics, talk about their grievances and simply put – share too much information.

With this in mind, you need to be aware of some statistics about over-sharing and the consequences that go hand in hand – especially when it comes to your employment.
A 2010 survey reported that 7% of companies with over 1,000 employees had terminated a worker due to a social media post, and 20% of companies report at least some type of disciplinary action being taken for some form of violation.

14% of people believe they have been negatively impacted by the online actions of others. Of those, 21% believe they were terminated from a job because of these interactions or social posts from others. Yet another 16% of those believe the social media actions of others prevented them from being hired all together.

Individuals posting to any social media site should do so with caution. Whether right or wrong, many employers view an employee’s social media content and consider it an extension of the company as a whole.

Things you may want to re-think BEFORE sharing: 
– Badmouthing the boss, the company or a product offering.
– Badmouthing competition (even when you know it to be true).
– Posting or being tagged in inappropriate pictures. Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!
– Posting any type of status update when off work due to an illness (shouldn’t you be lying down, resting?).
– Posting controversial remarks that can be used against the company’s mission, vision or values.
– Posting confidential job-related material (now this one, I thought, was just common sense)!

Don’t let these guidelines stop you from using Facebook or Twitter, but instead just give you a few tips on what you can do to reduce your chances of being one of those earlier mentioned statistics.

Using social Media appropriately can benefit both the individual and the company they work for.
– Monitor your profiles: Delete comments or photos by others that YOU do not want to be affiliated with.
– Set privacy settings: Customize them so that YOU stay in control of your profile, limiting access to who sees your profile.
– Know your company’s social networking policy (if you have one).

Remember, if you’re utilizing a company device to access any social media sites – it’s fair game and they have the right to monitor any and all activity while using their property. Some of us forget that!

Fact of the matter is that social media sites are designed for sharing! You just never know when a friend-of-a-friend may also be a friend-of-a-coworker or a friend-of-a-boss. Always think twice BEFORE sharing that Girls Night Out picture or your Monday afternoon frustrated opinion. Someone will be watching – you can bet on that!

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