Today is a new generation mostly involving computers; everywhere. The largest usage of computers is for social-networking. Today, 65% of online adults use social-networking sites. (Madden, 2012) The most popular social-networking site today is Facebook. Facebook has lately been having a lot of controversy, especially in the workforce. The workforce is looking at individuals Facebook profiles to determine hirable status. If Facebook keeps interfering with citizens’ rights to be hired, soon there will be a drop of employment.
The means of social-networking, in the beginning, was a new means of communication for people all over the world. And to create so called “groups”; the groups would be for charities, supporting common causes, etc. (Lusted, 2011) Today, however social-networking has gone beyond that stature. Social-networking today is mostly used by young adults and teens. Facebook is used for communication between these classes of people, but also used to say what they want, so we thought. Today, people never know for sure exactly who is viewing their personal information online.
Some college admissions personnel routinely check online profiles, of Facebook users, when deciding whether to accept a prospective student. (Lusted, 2011) Many employers do the same when trying to decide whether to hire applicants; and this is where the big issue of concern lies. Today, when someone applies for a job, they are expected to re-vamp their Facebook profile and what he/she has put on there before applying for the job. Should this really be a requirement? A profile is about “you” as a person outside of your job.
What is on your profile, whether its photos, quotes, likes/dislikes, or the language you use outside of work should not be judged via employment opportunities, it is your business, no one else’s. “Job hunters and recruiters are invading social-networking sites like Facebook”. (LaGesse, (2009) Over 200 years ago when Benjamin Franklin was incorporating the first amendment of free speech he stated, “Without Freedom of Thought, the can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the Right of every Man, as far as by it, he does ot hurt or control the Right of another. And this is the only Check it ought to suffer, and the only bounds it ought to know. ” (Bender, 1994) Now, how is this related to social-networking and free speech? It is definitely related, because it’s your profile, so the freedom of you as a person should be allowed on there. If someone does not like it, they do not have to look at it, that is what the privacy setting is for. Well, some places now want to invade this privacy and make it part of the application process, this is ridiculous! Facebook should not be viewed as real life.
It’s just the internet; it can be viewed at as a dollhouse, just pretend. It’s not an actual person’s life. There’s hundreds of thousands fake Facebook accounts. For these reasons, this is exactly why a Facebook shouldn’t affect anybody’s job or real life situations. A lot of the time a status or comment via Facebook can be posted by another person whom hacked into a person’s account. Facebook should only affect the careers where you’re looked up to as a higher authority than others. Such as a CEO, boss figure; only because people will be constantly looking at your profile to pass judgment.
So, just carefully choose what you say and what you post via Facebook or any social-networking site. For normal positions in a work place it really should not matter what your outside life is like if it isn’t affecting you or your job, then your outside life should be your outside life. Everyone is one person at work and a different person outside of work. And as long as you keep a professional attitude at work, work hard, and do your job correctly, then your outside/Facebook life should have no effect on your job. Everybody has the right to have a social life and also a personal life.
What people have on Facebook is personal. That’s why people have the choice of who can view their profile, but employers want to abuse this choice. In this age of technology, it's common for employers to use social-networking to get more information about job applicants. According to CBN News some companies are taking it one step further, asking job candidates to hand over their Facebook user names and passwords. Even though Facebook users have their profiles set to private, meaning potential employers can't see a job applicant's full profile page, including things like personal pictures and status updates.
So some companies are demanding more access by asking the applicants for their user name and passwords. (James, 2012) This is a huge invasion of privacy! Facebook also has a sort of “email” tool, so this could be viewed by employers as well, where is the privacy today? The saying “you don’t judge a book by its cover” fits right into this topic. Facebook is the “book” being judged. People should be very aware of how people and the workforce are viewing their Facebook accounts. People should not have to change their personal life to be hired at a job.
Today, in most jobs, background checks are required, for good reasoning, but that should be reason enough for someone being hired or not. Law enforcement officials say in some cases a Facebook page is more informative than a background check, this is just dumb, because background checks has criminal records involved, and Facebook has your social life. You cannot find the dates and what you were convicted for something on Facebook. Another issue with Facebook and the workforce is people being terminated because of what they post of Facebook.
Well, once again that is a personal life, and someone should be able to say what they want; freedom of speech. There have been numerous cases of people being terminated because of Facebook. Some to be agreed with, but a lot that should not be agreed with. This is why there are some lawsuits circulating in society. What should be agreed with when terminating someone because of Facebook should be if an employee “posted” personal information about someone/something or inside information within a job. Or if there were to be a threat of some sort to hurt a co-worker or someone/something within the employer.
What is to not be agreed with would be something like if someone called in sick at work, but was on Facebook, that they get fired because they were on Facebook while being home sick, yes this really happened. This is taking the authority level of hiring and firing too far. Facebook has become so easily accessed, via phone, computer, etc. Basically anything with internet access. So yes, you could be at home seriously ill, but lying in bed with a bucket beside you, but have either phone or laptop by you as well, and surfing the internet and being on Facebook.
This is not means for termination at all. Another issue about Facebook and the termination of a job is that some employers have actually fired people on Facebook; on their status post to be exact. Now, is this professional? No it is not. So if people want to go into full legal stature, this is illegal. This is almost like being terminated via telephone, which in most workplaces, is not exceptional. The professional way to terminate someone is to actually call this individual into their office and sit down, face-to-face and explain why they are being terminated.
That is professionalism! Does anyone remember what life was like before the internet? Before computers, when communication was based on writing letters or telephone calls. This is when we had a thing called trust throughout society. When you could trust a person by work ethics and what they told you. Our country has lost trust in all its citizens obviously to take these extreme measures. If work places start judging people because of Facebook accounts then there will most likely be a drop of employment, because a lot of societies face books are not so pretty.
“Technology, particularly social media has made the working world a challenging place for business leaders, managers, and HR professionals who must balance employee freedom of speech, the company’s employment brand”. (Miller-Merrell, 2012) This statement has one important thing wrong; she mentioned balance employee free speech, well what part of asking someone to give private information, such as username and password, a part of free speech?
None of it! Facebook's mission statement is to make the world a "more open and connected" place. The mission is not being followed due to the workforce invading the public’s privacy. All of the information above goes against this mission. So either Facebook needs to re-vamp itself, which we all know will not happen because it is by far the most popular and visited social-networking site on the internet today, or the workforce needs to think logically about what they are getting themselves into by asking Americans to give personal information.
A lawsuit will more than likely be coming from Facebook and its team in the near future. Being as Facebook is so highly ranked and profited. In the future, there is great reason to believe that all social-networking sites will be obsolete due to the workforce. One of these two things will more than likely happen. It is definitely going to be an on-going issue for some time. Overall, Facebook has become a large part of people’s lives and it’s a part of their private lives as well. Not something that everyone else should be concerned with.
We need to judge on how you know someone and by how they go about responsibility being done in the workplace. What should matter is how the person does their work, if they’re getting the work done and whether the work is being done right and how the boss wants it done accordingly. If someone does a great job at work, they should not be judged by an employer because of Facebook. If a person’s outside life does affect their work life, then action should most definitely take place. Facebook is not an application!