Thursday, March 11, 2010

Social Networking Too Social?

Almost everyone nowadays participates in Social Networking, whether it be through facebook, myspace, or even Blogger. In the past people would confide in their friends their true feelings about their jobs or the events of their days and were confident that their friends would keep their secrets or stories to themselves. There was such a thing as after-hours, freedom from the workplace. However, nowadays when you post your thoughts on your site, expecting that only your friends will see them, sometimes word spreads and oftentimes has negative consequences. Many people have been fired due to information that was gleaned from their choice networking site. People can no longer take 'sick days' in order to get some necessary housework done or go on a field-trip with their kid.. or at least they can, but they cannot spread the word about their actions to their friends. Everything that is posted must be carefully considered. Some complain that the negative career effects of social networking sites are a violation of their freedom of speech. They posted or commented something after office-hours, so what they say or do should have no effect on their career in a company. People have been fired for simply stating that they were bored at work that day. I find this ridiculous.

As long as people do not write slander about their company or the people they work with, they should be able to post such feelings freely. If managers were smart, they would even encourage such action because they could use the information to better their work environment and organization. If their employees are bored or feel they have no purpose, then it is the manager's duty to shake things up a bit and give purpose to their work so that they can feel pride in what they do and be motivated to do what they do well. In this way, the employees are content and business prospers. Social networking should be viewed as just that, social, not professional. Social networking can be a good part of the feedback loop if freedom of speech is encouraged. Companies need to realize that their employee's lives do not always revolve around their work. Not even the CEOs of companies are purely motivated to live because of their job. They have other interests as well. Such interests need to be taken into account and encouraged so that people will be able to function to the best of their ability everyday at work. When people are satisfied with other areas of their life, then their outlook is much more positive and their energy level increases and they are able to be top company performers.

Breslin, Tom. "When social networking enters the workplace." Massachusetts Nurse 80.8 (2009): 14. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 11 Mar. 2010

1 comment:

  1. I agree with this. I believe that everyone should have the right to post their opinions/pictures on social networking sites. The only time it should be taken into consideration by their managers/peers at work, is if they say something that is seriously hurtful, demeaning, or threatening to their company and peers at work. I don't think that people should be second guessing about what they post online because they're afraid that someone out there might see it and make a big deal out of it.

    This is why I'm glad that there are now options in places like Facebook, Twitter, etc, where people can put their profiles on private, so that they may choose who they give out the information they put on their social networking sites.