The news has been abuzz thanks to a report that 10 percent of people say they’ve lost a job opportunity because of social media. This kind of news is definitely a big deal, but it’s not the most interesting part of the study released by international mobile research firm On Device last week.
Digging deeper into their research reveals several other nuggets related to social media and the workplace that are much more worrisome–first, that despite this number of people saying social media has impacted their job prospects, nearly 70 percent still say they aren’t concerned with what their social media use today will mean for future career opportunities. Its sort of like an “I know but I don’t really care” attitude, something already seen as a character trait (flaw?) of millenials.
Second, another question reveals that respondents do regularly adjust their profiles in light of how they might appear to others, but the numbers are higher for changes based on what would appeal to friends than what appeals to employers. Not surprisingly countries like China and Nigeria, where governments are known to be more repressive, have much higher rates of social account adjustments for employers–47 and 54 percent, respectively.
These numbers come from the Young People’s Consumer Confidence (YPCC) Index, a survey of 6000 16-34 year olds across six countries (Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, the US and UK) conducted by On Device Research. The index looks at consumer confidence in employment and education among young people to give companies a heads up on trends. The social media specific questions were distributed to a much wider population, up to more than 20,000 across those six countries in the case of the social media firings question, and about 17,000 respondents for the others.
What does this all mean? To borrow a British phrase, young people need to “mind the gap” between what their profiles represent and the expectations of employers. Unless your friends are doing the hiring, applicants can be excluded for a variety of reasons including social media profiles, which can add a layer of difficulty to breaking into a changing market in the first place.
I’m a new mom so two recent stories to hit the news about parents, doctors and social media firings really stuck out to me. In the first, a Georgia mother was fired after posting on her Facebook page about taking her sick daughter to urgent care because her own employer—a pediatrician’s office—didn’t have any appointments available. Sounds like a reasonable complaint—who wouldn’t think they should be able to slip their child in to see the doctor they work for? But not only did the office in question not agree, they found those comments troubling and fired her for violating the company’s social media policy of not posting anything disrespectful or defamatory.
This is a hard lesson, and media reports state the mother in question, Misty Robinson, is working with an attorney who believes her rights have been violated. This is a perfect scenario of social media conversations leading to different interpretations. Robinson didn’t think her post was problematic—she just wanted to share that her daughter was treated after all! But how would her employer know her motivations? Certainly they want to show they treat everyone fairly–imagine the response if she posted that another patient was bumped for her child. Whatever their reasons, they’re in the drivers seat when it comes to deciding how to respond. I’ll be interested to see how Robinson’s legal case proceeds.
The second story is no less aggravating, but for different reasons. Dr. Amy Dunbar, an OB/GYN from St. Louis, took to Facebook to complain about a patient that regularly arrived extremely late for prenatal appointments or blew them off entirely. She closed with “May I show up late for her delivery?” After complaints appeared to the hospital, administrators came out to support Dunbar, noting she didn’t violate any privacy regulations.
There’ve been plenty of cases where medical staff went far over the line in sharing personal patient information in social media. This isn’t one of them, and I’m glad the hospital reacted as they did. I’m sure Dunbar will never complain about her patients publicly again, but if she would it seems most of the public would continue to support her—comments on the hospital’s Facebook page for new mothers are overwhelmingly in support of the doctor. My aggravation stems from those folks calling her and her colleagues out for their Facebook comments.
Oh, and who shows up three hours late to the doctor in the first place? How rude!
Every year Jan. 1 marks the start of new legislation taking effect around the country. This year several states have new laws on the books related to social media, specifically related to how employers can or can’t use your social media info, like passwords, to hire or fire you.
Check out this infographic for more details on these new laws.
Do you think these new restrictions will have much impact? Or are they a waste of time? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
The internet is abuzz with news about the firing of meteorologist Rhonda Lee for a Facebook post she made on her former employer’s account. Lee, who until November 28 was a meteorologist at KTBS in Shreveport, La., responded to a comment from a viewer on the station’s Facebook about the “Black woman with the short hair,” noting he didn’t like it and questioning if she was a cancer patient.
After several days Lee decided to respond with what I and many others consider a well-thought out message to the viewer, noting that her health was fine, her hair was a reflection of her African-American heritage, and that she hoped to set an example for kids that they can be successful with all types of appearances.
The higher-ups at KTBS responded by firing her for violating the station’s social media policy.
This year Target joins the list of retailers opening up for “Black Friday” sales on Thanksgiving, and employees of the store are taking to social media to complain about the decision.
Target employee Casey St. Clair of California started a Change.org petition a week ago urging the store to reverse their decision. The petition has more than 200,000 signatures as of this morning, and several Target employees have left their own thoughts in the comments:
Last year I praised the International Olympic Committee for their forward thinking policy around social media at this year’s London games. The straightforward policy sets out rules that I think are fair while still being restrictive enough to give the IOC control over the brand everyone in the world talks about for a few weeks every four years. And considering how tightly they control the image in other settings, the policy becomes even more understandable.
But there is another rule Olympic athletes must adhere to, Rule 40, that’s become a hot topic in the Olympic conversation on and offline. Simply put, Rule 40 limits Olympic athletes from mentioning their sponsors unless they are Top IOC partners (aka advertisers).
Have you upgraded your Facebook profile to Timeline yet? Given any consideration to how it looks to your colleagues or potential employers who may be looking at your digital tracks? Now is the time! Timeline is not yet mandatory but it will be soon, and it will automatically create a personal history for you based on past posts and connections. Basically Facebook is building a running chronology of major events in the lives of its users–including work.
I’ve never shared a lot about my professional life on Facebook (that’s what LinkedIn is for IMO), so for me Timeline as a resume makes no sense. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t looking at it anyway—we know recruiters use Facebook to connect with (aka spy on?) potential candidates. So if your resume says you were working as an actress in L.A. but your Timeline shows you were waiting tables in N.Y., you’re in trouble.
CNN Correspondent Roland Martin was indefinitely suspended by the network this week after the outcry over his Twitter commentary during the Super Bowl grew too loud for the network to ignore.
During last Sunday’s big game Martin took issue with David Beckham’s H&M ad, tweeting “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl”. At another point he wrote, “Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass.” Many took his comments as advocating violence against gays and called for an apology, which trickled out over several days.
If the new year means a new job, you should be looking at your social profiles to make sure there’s nothing there that will put you out of the running for your dream gig. Once that’s done, these tips from Career Enlightenment should get your search on the right track.
We could all learn a thing or two from Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire boy wonder behind Facebook. Whether you believe the depiction of his genius in The Social Network, the theft claims leveled in the Winklevoss’ twins multiple lawsuits, or something else entirely, the fact is the man has built an almost unstoppable juggernaut that has revolutionized the way people communicate in modern times.
I say almost unstoppable because ongoing privacy concerns are dogging Facebook, and while most people pay no attention to the details, the Federal Trade Commission has taken notice, and now Zuckerberg’s own account has fallen victim to the site’s own security flaws. Last week pictures from Zuckerberg’s personal account appeared across the web.
Shortly after the pics appeared, stories proclaiming how boring he is popped up. They show the guy hanging with his girlfriend, cooking, cuddling his new puppy and other regular everyday activities (except for meeting the President, which is absolutely not boring). While obviously tongue-in-cheek, the articles raise an interesting point that all of Facebook users should internalize right now–there’s a chance anyone can see what you have posted on the site, so give some thought to what’s there.