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Social Media is any website that allows social interaction. Social Media is growing rapidly throughout the world. More adults and teenagers are joining sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to interact with friends, family, and strangers. The introduction of Social Media has changed the world in many ways. It affects each individual in different ways. Today it can be used as a very helpful too in changing a person’s life, but at the same time cause such conflicts which can negatively impact a person’s life. Online social media have gained astounding worldwide growth and popularity which has led to attracting attention from a variety of research globally. By anyone’s standards, these are staggering figures and yet they relate only to one social media site. It is, therefore, no surprise that Social Media is beginning to permeate almost every aspect of our lives, whether it be on a professional, personal or social level.
“Many businesses have been adept at harnessing the power of social media to their advantage. Others have been less so, but they are catching on. However, it is never plain sailing in the world of social media.” (Brown 2016, p1). As well as the benefits, social media throws up some huge challenged and real problems. It is clear that employers and employees both need to consider how social media sites may affect employment. Many employers have been quick to use social media to recruit staff. Others have been adept at allowing employees to use social relationships. Some employers have simply been keen to use social media as a better way of engaging with its staff and fostering a more collegiate environment. “But many will be too familiar with the news stories of employees misusing social media at or outside of work to the disadvantage of their employer. Some stories have featured employees who have been dismissed after posting inappropriate comments about colleagues or their employer.” (Mayer brown 2016, p2). Quite often, the legal issues that lie beneath these stories are overlooked.
“Social Media is a generalized term for a group of online software tools that allow for increased interaction and development of online content by any web user” (Kuhns 2012, p.4). Social Media includes well-known sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Social Media are changing the way people and organizations communicate. The massive proration of social media has become extremely popular among internet users. They have greatly influenced the way the users access and use information in all aspects of their lives. “The various social media sites have created an information explosion with access to information making it more liberalized” (Jotham 2013). At workplaces when using social media you misuse work-time. With the increasing amount of time the employees spend on social media sites, this risk is quickly growing. Those employees will regularly access social media from work and also without permission the Company Name, Logo, Trademark, Copyright information or intellectual property in blogs, discussion boards or social networking sites that can infringe on the company’s right to control their assets.
Conflicts of interest can take many forms and can cross with other forms of misconduct, a form of company’s resources, use one’s work position and other personal interests that conflict with one’s duty to the company. Blogging, maintaining a website or posting information about an industry, company or related issues without disabusing one’s employment with an interested company. “Using blogs and other forms of social media to educate the public, promote products and build a professional brand. The fundamental principles of honesty, integrity, and fairness to apply to all forms of blogging and social media” (Helm 2013).
Mistakenly or intentionally providing personal information of a colleague, customer or supplier on a discussion board or chat room or through other social media is unethical and also disseminating another employee’s posting without that employee’s permission. ”Diversity in research teams lead to better science, that cultural diversity on global virtual teams has a positive effect on decision making” (Irina Raicu, June 12, 2015). Because of many ways in which social media can be misused and thus lead to ethics and compliance problems, companies that plan to use this media for business purposes should consider setting standards and other expectations but with all the benefits that social media is bringing to the cooperate world, misuse of company resources, to conflicts of interest and disparagement of others. “A company without an initiative to effectively identify, access and manage its approach to social media and its various tools not only loses out on its many opportunities they offer by faces numerous risks to and improver business practices and activities that may damage the business” (Mintz 2017).
Sending communications over social media that the company is not able to retain for its own records maintenance requirements. Posting personal information or about personal activities that lend one’s company, a recruiting company or others to believe that the individual is acting unprofessionally or otherwise inappropriately. This situation can hurt the employer where the employee’s personal reputation is tarnished and so effects the individual’s business reputation. Among the most significant errors that companies can make is setting standards and expectations that are impractical and so easily set aside. A company needs to consider practical expectation in using social media, for instance, a company that bans all employee personal use of social media in the workplace – may do more harm than good when employees pull out their personal web serving methods at work. “The national labor relations board indicates workers have a right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution whether the discussion takes place in office or Facebook” ( Lachman, September-October 2013). A more robust ethics and compliance initiative to appropriate for these companies where social media is more pertinent to its business environment. Companies in an industry that rely on or are heavily involved in social media – such as entertainment, news, sports, broadcasting, marketing and advertising should except that employees will be accessing online social media.
Social media website is a revolutionary idea with a very bright future with further scope for advancements. The opportunities provided by this medium are immense and many organizations are making use of this medium to better their practices. Organisations are no longer at the mercy of the media to advertise or convey their message. “With the help of social networking, they can advertise or communicate in a more efficient way. For example, Starbucks has started a very successful program in which a person from any part of the world can log in to a website to write comments and discuss issues.” (Irina May 2010, p4) Similarly, people don’t have to rely on newspapers or TV to get their daily dose of news it can all be obtained from a social networking site. People can follow or get information from any part of the world. For example, Twitter allows a user to follow anything from airline timing to the next breaking news from China. It is even used by politicians to get their message across.
Online communities and Blogs are becoming very popular and moreover since the advancement of embedded systems people can use them “on the go” with the help of handheld devices like cell phones or palmtops. They can get information which is more interactive in nature with the help of embedded photos and videos. People can also take part in the social network by using many tools available to them. The kind of interaction a user wants from these social networks depends on the type of information the user is interested in
The world is getting closer every day and everyone wants to be connected. Static blogs and websites are losing popularity. The world is moving more towards “information streams”. The information comes to users rather than users have to make effort to get the information. The social networks can be extended to other media, for example, Television now integrates Twitter feeds. In terms of personal relationships to the social networking is connecting people. Social networking can also be very crucial in medical help.
After all the advantages, the problem that arises is of information overload and security. Social networks, unlike the common media, do not have a pattern as to how much information has to be conveyed and where to draw the line. Too much information may confuse users. Security might be another area of concern where people can get illegal access to a user’s information. The future of social networking looks very promising but still, it has to deal with the problems associated with it.
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