With social media on the rise, it’s no surprise that it’s becoming the new Solitaire in the workplace. Before social media took over the nation, employees would spend time at the office playing Solitaire. I even remember hearing a story a while back where a company took Solitaire off of their employee’s computers because it was becoming that big of an issue. Now, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, among others, have replaced solitaire as the new work distraction.
According to Workplace Tribes’ article “How can social software get you fired,” more and more employees are spending company time on their personal social media sites. Forty-three percent of businesses around the world say that they have to deal with misuse of social networks. This misuse resulted in 42 percent of corporations taking disciplinary actions against their employees.
Having said that, social media isn’t a tool to just bide your time until the workday is over, but it’s a useful resource when it comes to hiring employees and communicating with the community. One of the great things about my internship is that it has actually jumpstarted my involvement with social media sites. For example, the Senior Athletic Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the University of Oregon suggested that we, the interns, tweet about what’s going in the office. Day-to-day activities are pretty normal to us who experience it every day, but there are people who are interested in knowing what goes on behind the scenes of a collegiate athletic department; tweeting will give them a teaser as to what we do. Since then, I have tweeted more consistently, blogged about my experiences in the office and created a LinkedIn account. These are all things that I probably would have done on my own with time, but they encouraged me to do them now as a way to increase my communication and presence in the community.
If not used correctly though, social media can lead to your destruction. The following are the top 8 ways that Workplace Tribes says you can get fired because of social media:
- Post off-color remarks
- Post-confidential details
- Bad-mouth your clients
- Disrespect your employer
- Post inappropriate photos
- Create animated videos of your coworkers
- Talk trash about your boss
- Play hooky and post about it
Honestly, if you do any of those things, you deserve to be fired! As an employee of that company, you are no longer representing just yourself but the company as well. So naturally, if the company sees you disrespecting them on the Internet, would you blame them for getting rid of you? If you need to vent, fine, everyone needs to at some point; just don’t do it in a place that’s visible for everyone to see.