Social media addiction: why Facebook and Twitter could be ruining your career
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Social media may have started as a free speech platform but beware just how free your speech gets if you want to keep your job and your career. You may think you are tweeting or Facebooking in your own time but if your words can be connected to your workplace then your role could become redundant.
Savvy corporate marketers have used social media to their advantage but many companies now employ full time social media monitoring to watch what is said about their brand and what is posted by their employees. Big social media brother is watching.
It is not just gun toting Olympians that are penalized by their photo posts either. Teachers adding students as friends, flight attendants referring to passengers as ‘chavs’ and logging in to Facebook on a sick day have all been grounds for dismissal here and abroad since social media came into play.
We all know posting negative comments about our employers on social media is simply a career death wish but how do we manage our social media relationships without it impacting the office?
Companies have rigid social media policies for a reason so why can’t you? Being clear about how you use social media may help you in the future. When clients or colleagues ask to be friends on Facebook a simple response of “thank you for your friend request, I have a policy of keeping Facebook personal and private but would love you to follow me on Twitter or instagram” or something similar won’t offend.
Be strict about your Facebook privacy settings, who can and cannot see your posts and review the settings regularly as Facebook is always changing. You may even wish to put “my posts on Facebook are my own and reposting is not an automatic endorsement” on your About Facebook page and your Twitter account.
Never turn to social media when you are angry. Many a reactive outburst has come back to bite celebrities and it can do the same to you. Be careful even with private messages, if you have something contentious to say, say it on the phone or face to face.
Restrict your social media interaction. Many social media addicts have a fear or missing out. The truth is the world doesn’t end if you don’t log in to your social media account every day.
Tweets can be scheduled ahead of time using Tweetdeck and Facebook recently introduced scheduled updates so you can appear to be online when you are not. No need for your ‘friends’ to know otherwise.
Remember what goes on Facebook stays on Facebook. Everything is kept, even deleted posts, by Facebook and can be called upon by legal teams if needed. If in doubt do not post. If still in doubt seek legal advice regarding your personal social media behavior and curb it accordingly.
Companies can track how much time you are spending on social media during your work day and if it not part of your job description then it can also be grounds for dismissal depending on company policy. So read your company social media policy.
The other solution is simply to stay positive online at all times. That way the grim social media reaper won’t come calling.