It all started at a dinner party in 2008. A good friend came over came with a bottle of wine and a crazy story: that day one of his coworkers was fired for something she posted about the company on her Facebook page the night before. At the end of the day his entire office shuffled into the conference room and told there was a new policy in place–anyone writing ANYTHING about work on Facebook or any other website would be fired immediately. No second chances. They had been warned.
Whoa! At that time, most people were just getting familiar with Facebook, so this was shocking to all of us sitting around that table. Was it really possible that at this point in our careers a little comment about work could get us canned? As I learned, the answer increasingly was YES. I had to know more.
Then I was a grad student studying Ethics and the Professions at Georgetown University, and my curiosity led me to my thesis, published in 2009, titled Common Sense, Social Networks and the Workplace: The Generational Divide Explored. My research found that social media use was growing by leaps and bounds among all age groups, and yet there was no common set of rules to govern how people used it. And not set of guidelines on how to judge what happens therein.
The result of that missing framework is what this site has explored since–people being fired for Facebook posts, Tweets, and whatever else has popped up on the social scene. My goal is to look at the ongoing shift in the world of work thanks to social media, and how to best navigate it. I hope you’ll join the discussion and share your ideas of on how to make this transition a positive one.
Have you or someone you know been impacted by social media? Fill out the form below and share your story.