Technology…is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other (Carrie Snow). As the number of social media users on sites such as Facebook and Instagram rises, the privacy of the users are put at stake. As of October 2016, there are 1.71 billion monthly active users were 1.13 billion people who use the site on the daily basis. The numbers increase by fifteen percent yearly (Zephoria). These users have their real names written on their profiles and have co-workers added as friends, yet they are not cautious of their actions being committed on the media. I believe social network sites are made to display one’s life and diminish privacy, which can cause harm in one’s career by individuals posting indecent pictures, using offensive language and actions, and by sharing personal work -related information.
History and Background of Technology Impact on one’s Career
Different studies have been conducted to determine the impact of technology especially social media on one’s career. Damaris, Robert, and Cathy conducted a study to establish on the effects of social media on a candidate’s chances of getting employment and how and the extent in which hiring managers use information on the internet in the hiring process (Damaris et al., pg. 2). On the same note, the study tried to establish some of the social media content that caused employers to develop a negative perception of the candidate. The study concluded that hiring managers use social media moderately when screening candidates. The paper established that content about substance abuse, provocative and inappropriate content, bad mouthing the former employer or poor communication skills could jeopardize a candidate’s potential of being hired (Damaris et al., pg. 2).
According to Vladlena, Fragkiskos, and Stephanie, university students and fresh graduates are quick in adopting new technologies. Social networks provide business opportunities, and educational use if used properly (Vladlena et al., Par. 1). The study highlights the positive aspects of using social media in providing an easy-to-use platform for students to connect when learning and during the employability stages. The researchers also stated that social media determines one’s career success. Content posted on the internet stays longer and is far difficult to remove as compared to creating (Vladlena et al., par.3). The paper also raises concern on the issue of privacy being jeopardized because of the use of social media. The authors noted that personal content tends to be available to outsiders of an informal social circle.
On the same note, ING Survey indicates that dialogue on social media is gaining importance in PR professionals and journalist. The study indicates that social media has helped in revolutionizing social media landscape by influencing news and the way news are disseminated. However, this paper provides little information on the impact of social media on landing or maintaining a job in the media industry. Ripton also wrote an article citing some of the mistakes that could damage your career. Some of the aspects cited to be damaging to one’s career include complaints about one’s boss, sharing information about one’s jobs, plagiarizing content, posting photos with alcohol and mocking customers. On the same note, the article cited posting comments that harm a certain group of people and using texting language having poor spelling and grammar could affect one’s career.
Many people do not realize the harm in flaunting their life for the world to see. It is becoming a trend and a fashion statement to post certain obscene pictures. Posting pictures with alcohol is the latest trend. Even if one is above the permissible age of alcohol consumption, posting such pictures can not only cost one their job but dignity as well. For example, take the case of the “Drunken Pirate”. As written in the article “Failing to Forget the Drunken Pirate” the victim, Stacy Snyder a teacher in training, had merely posted a picture of herself from a Halloween party. The picture was very vague; she was dressed in a pirate costume and drinking out of a cup. The viewers could not tell what was in the cup, but it was assumed that it was alcohol because the caption was “Drunken Pirate”. Snyder’s dreams of being a teacher were crushed when the University officials told her that she could not receive her teaching certificate because of her behavior. The officials were referring to the picture of the drunken pirate. That is why I believe that social media sites just make it much easier for information, like a negative picture, to reach an important person like a boss.
By joining social media sites, people pose a threat of having their professional life mix with their personal life (Clemmitt). Having a boss or co-workers as their friends may be harmful to their job, position, or career. If an individual is at a high position in their job, this person should be even more cautious about what is being displayed about their life on the internet. Any unprofessional picture or status may have them lose the respect or the trust of their employees.
Social media makes one’s life transparent for the world to the point where nothing is private. The texting language or use of words they use on their social media may offend someone’s present or future employer. Of course, it is always their choice on what they deem private about their life and what is appropriate to post on the internet. Many, who have no concern about what about their life aspects is presented to others, may be the ones who do not have a job that they actually care about other than getting a lot of views or likes. If a person holds their job dearly, then they should be responsible enough to filter on materials uploaded to social media. Having an important job or reputation does not necessarily mean that an individual has to stay away from social sites but that they should definitely be cautious of offensive language and actions that can be posted on sites whether it is by them or someone else.
A great example of this would be a young medical student- Anjali Ramkissoon. Jackson Health System has terminated the young doctor because of a video made of her verbally abusing and using offensive language to an uber driver. The video was posted on the internet and it went viral. According to the Daily News article, the young woman screamed, “Get in the f——-g car! You don’t know who you are dealing with you f——g sh-t!” to an uber driver. Therefore, I advise how important it is to think twice before committing an action because circumstances can lead into terribly destroying one’s job career. Another example of why one should filter and be cautious of the internet is the President. Something as high in prestige as the president of the United States is where an individual must filter what goes on the internet. If someone wants to become the president, they must go through many background checks. With the mixture of the internet and social media, there is no way that their private information cannot be tracked. Anything from a negative picture or video can prevent a person from attaining a high position such as the president. If officials can do extreme background checks to a mere teacher, just imagine what they will do to the position of the president.
In this electronic age, there is nowhere to hide. All the personal information regarding work, social, or personal life that is being shared on the internet is being leaked and the one doing it is ourselves. It is the social norm to have a Facebook or Instagram account. Therefore, no one hesitates to create an account. Many people have a habit of using social media as a platform to express themselves. Unknowingly, the words used in expressing oneself can be offensive to others and certainly haunt an individual in the future. Even if one thinks the posts are private and safe from the eyes of a boss or a colleague- it will take only a couple of seconds to screenshot or forward to an important person that holds ones’ career in their hands. Hence, the action of oneself can have multiple implications.
Furthermore, the best way to get rid of job and finding yourself in a legal suit is by sharing a person’s occupations secrets on social media. Sharing a trades secrets or internal discussions even informally, without any mal-intention can cause serious problems. An article by Ryan Eisenacher shared a story of a victim who faced severe consequences due to a small mistake. The victim was a nurse who treated a patient and wrote a Facebook post after her shift stating, “she had come face-to-face with evil and hoped that the alleged cop-killer would rot in hell.” Although, the nurse did not divulge the suspect’s name, she violated the HIPAA law. This tiny mistake of hers caused her to be fired and made her look unprofessional for the unnecessary comments. This just shows that displaying one’s life on social sites may prove to have very negative effects. Nothing is completely private anymore; everyone is just so open to sharing any information of his or her lives. Some say that it is the social norm now.
Despite the many negative impacts that social media has on ones’ career, social media has many numerous benefits if used constructively. Social media is a powerful team that can be used for networking. Employees can network with co-workers, potential employers, and other industry leaders through social media. Twitter is one of the platforms to follow important leaders in one’s career and to be updated with recent development in your industry. According to an article written by Pratik Bang “How social media can affect your career”, Social media accounts do not have a negative impact on one’s career. However, the way a person presents himself through social media is important.
Social media is also becoming one of the channels through which recruitment is conducted. Many business organizations have created pages on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and twitter. According to Jeffrey, 83% of employers use or planned to use social media as a tool in hiring new employees (Par. 2). For instance, organizations tend to post career opportunities on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Multinational companies such as Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Microsoft, Toyota use internet platform in advertising job positions. On the same note, small and middle-sized companies have embraced digital platforms because of advancement in technology. Therefore, it is important to use social media as a tool for job search. People should use social media to their advantages by actively seeking for job opportunities.
On the same note, HR professionals use social media as a tool for collecting information about potential employees since it is cheap and fast. Employers seek information such as one’s ability to communicate with others, skills, and experiences, and if the individual upholds integrity. Employers often check for inappropriate content such as photos, videos. Employers form a negative perception of candidates posting pictures taking alcohol or drugs. Therefore, it is essential to monitor what is posted on social media as it could jeopardize one’s job or potential job.
Be as it may, technology has brought about numerous ways to share the internet through different platforms. Having a social networking account such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or even linked in does not have a negative effect on one’s future or career. However, the way one presents himself through these accounts is important. An unknowing behavior committed on the media can lead into a harmful situation that can negatively affect a person’s future and career. It is strongly important to be aware of what is being posted on the media and to think twice before committing an offensive action, which can lead to ruining an individual’s career. As mentioned previously, an indecent picture, video, usage of offensive language and sharing personal information on the media may lead to negative consequences.
On the other hand, sharing appropriate information about one’s life, communicating effectively and engaging in meaningful conversation could make one attain career goals. Similarly, networking through social media, developing a decent and professional social media profile as well as using social networking sites diligently to search for jobs could lead to positive consequences. Therefore, we should constantly be aware of what we post and look for opportunities via social media. Remaining mute in social media networks may work to our disadvantage as one may miss numerous opportunities. Thus, we should be confident, have a positive mind and work towards expanding our networks and visibility via social media accounts.
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Goldstein, Sasha. “Miami Doctor Who Berated Uber Driver in Viral Video Is Fired.” NY Daily News. N.p., 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
Martin, Don. “Failing to Forget the Drunken Pirate.” Don Martin Public Affairs. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.
Ryan Eisenacher, Content Marketing Manager at Recovery Brands; and Ruchi Sanghani, Director of Research at Recovery Brands. “You May Be Violating HIPAA and You Don’t Even Know It.” 22 Apr. 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
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Benson Vladlena, Fragkiskos Filippaios, and Stephanie Morgan. “Social Media And Student Lifecycle: Impact On Career Success”. kingston.ac.uk. N.p., 2016. Web. 23 Nov. 2016. Retrieved from http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/18105/2/Benson-V-18105.pdf
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