As we continue to hear more about individuals who use social media in their personal life and find it affecting their professional life, we need to understand the idea of convergence. This idea implies that our identities, personal and professional, are converging due to social media and the concept of transparency. Gone are the days when coworkers only knew what you did at work, thanks to Facebook status updates, Twitter tweets, and Foursquare check-ins. Enter the days where we are constantly sharing what we are thinking, what we are doing, and where we are going. Why is this important to think about? So we don’t get ourselves into trouble from an employee and employer standpoint. How do we keep out of trouble? Two ways – creating and implementing a social media policy, and following it.
Social media policies are popping up all over. The common complaint I hear is that employees don’t understand why they must always be associated with their “daytime” identities. Most employees think, “I am who I am, I am not what I do,” but that is something we perceive as true, but isn’t in the days of technology. We are who we are, all day long.
From an employer standpoint, employers aren’t sure what they can do and how to regulate the “Wild Web” and what people to choose to do during their off time. Well, employers need to step up and put a policy in place to be sure to address the issue, ensure their employees understand, and prevent anything that could happen.
So what is the point? The point is, be smart. Be a smart employee and know the difference between your right (to free speech) and what is right (from a moral standpoint). From an employer standpoint, get a social media policy, make it good, and make sure it is understood.