Social media plays a big part both in my personal and professional life. For example having migrated to another Country, Facebook is one of many methods that I use to stay in touch with my family and friends. In my working life, LinkedIn is one tool we use as part of the sourcing strategies we implement to be successful in recruiting. I blog, I tweet, I’m dabbling with google+, I am well versed in many areas of social media. What I am concerned about is where is the line?
I have received an increasing amount of friend requests from acquaintances. I know a lot of people use Facebook for business and marketing purposes, but for me it’s very personal. I have thought long and hard but decided to decline a few invites. As a Senior Manager at work, I’m conscious of the line between personal and professional. I do have some people from work as friends which is part of the dilemma. Should it be an all or nothing situation?
In addition to that I have heard of increasing reports where companies are reviewing potential, senior candidates on Facebook and as many of 75% are confessing to basing hiring decisions around things they have read about the person through social media! There are several things wrong with this. Firstly the privacy issue and the fact that these channels have relaxed their security to make it easier for absolutely anyone to see everything that you do. Secondly, I’m certain that I wouldn’t want to work with an organization that based it’s hiring decision on whether I made reference to a gin and tonic when I had a bad week, or if I posted pictures of me in a bikini on a family vacation! Lastly, when did we lose the freedom to be ourselves. What I said and did on the weekend is not necessarily a reflection on how I perform my duties during working hours and should remain private within my inner circle. We should not have to be concerned that it can be seen as damaging to the company brand or image. There is definitely a line between appropriate and inappropriate, but for the most part isn’t that just perception? I’d like to see the privacy issues be rectified so people can interact without wondering about who is watching and the potential ramifications!