Social media and employment has been a steadily increasing topic of conversation over the most recent years. Cases of termination from employment as a result of social media discrepancies have become prevalent. Social media has caused the business climate to shift. Robert Freeman makes mention in Strategic Management, about the “acceleration of new technologies.” He mentions a prediction of change in major social issues due to those new technologies.
Most businesses are now using social media as a marketing avenue. As a result, they are monitoring their employee’s social media activities more than ever before. My objectives are to provide a social media overview, compare and contrast the opposing perspectives in relation to documented social media related employment termination cases and define the connect between social media, employment, and ethics.
In order to understand the influential impact of social media on business you must first understand its definition. What is social media? Its true definition is constantly evolving. Its uses continuously change and expand. Merriam Webster dictionary defines social media as, “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).” Their definition provides the most common general overview of the science that is Social Media.
However, the true definition of social media is in the mind of the individual. I personally define Social Media as any electronic communication that allows freedom of speech and ideas. It relieves people of the constraints of social conformity and allows them to make submissions based on pure individuality. Whether the submissions take shape in the form of words, images or videos the content is at the discretion of the originator. The individual may also determine the level of privacy.
Social media has not always been in existence. Social media took several small steps before it evolved into the popular entity that it currently is today. One of the biggest developments was launched in 2004, named Facebook. Harvard University students created it. Although, it is far from being the first network in existence, Facebook has been one of the most popular social media sites of all time. When Facebook initially launched it was for the use of Harvard University students only, according to digitaltrends.com. It was not until two years later, in 2006, that Facebook became available to the general public.
Facebook currently leads the global social media-networking group. Its users are currently shy of a billion people throughout the world. There has been a long-standing debate as to the reasoning behind Facebook’s success. Some contribute their accomplishment to their “ease of use,” while others insist it is their “memorable and distinctive name.” One thing for certain, is that Facebook has created an open...