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Social Media Ethics for a Working Professional in the IT Sector

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Using social media on the internet have rising sharply in the capacity of interests for each and every employees in the workforce. “There are many internet users active in social media during their working time. And also these applications are gaining attractiveness, so are they changing the way employers are looking at their employees and their companies in general.” (Anon., n.d.). There are so several aids that social media has transported to the corporate world, but with this every business is becoming progressively aware of the risks that are involved with using it. Misuse of company resources, conflicts of interest, and criticism of others are just a few. “The Internet today is ubiquitous. It has worked its way into every corner of our lives—including our professional practice—and it is here to stay. Technological advances have threatened our economic and personal security and these advances have changed the face of communication forever.” (Voshel & Wesala, 2015). ). Therefore, the working professionals essential to look over their standards of practice accordingly to meet many challenges presented by this changing world. This resources growing the way we think approximately work consciences to include online social media. Social media requires that workers reframe how they think about privacy, confidentiality, professional boundaries, and has challenged us to innovate with new, ethically sound ways to serve clients and constituents

With the advent and popularity of social networking sites, the boundaries of the relationship between the employer and employee/prospective employee have stretched well beyond the workplace and working hours. Predictably, this relationship expansion has led to uncharted adversarial scenarios between the respective parties. Unfortunately, in this new, vibrant cyber world, employment law is struggling for deference and attention. Notwithstanding this ostensible indifference, each phase of the relationship is heavily impacted by social network media. Applicant recruitment, information gathering and applicant selection stand to be impacted by the social network communications made by employees or prospective employees. This literature review examines about the ethics for a working professional, ethical behavior and issues of using social media during work hours, avoiding from social media misuse.

In the modern world, it is commonplace to use web technologies in the organization of communication of young people. In fact, they represent the new means of establishing communications, the tool to organize communication. This change of the communication forms influences the content of the communication itself. These changes lead to a significant metamorphosis in the structure of society, impose prints on behavioral standards and even change the mentality. “Internet” as a global information system, is forming cyberspace, creates cyber culture with its concepts, values, thoughts and language. Today it is one of the main components of the information society. The ambiguity of the social networks influence is the important issue of the modern world. Social Media means channels and platforms, which are based on the Internet technology, for communication and content sharing between users. The main features and differences of social media are: unlimited interactive communications; directly involved users in the generation and relay of the media content; a high degree of involvement in the process; maximum speed of the feedback; user personalization. Social media has become extremely popular in recent years. The occurrence and effect of technology in society, including the workplace, is unquestionable. Computers, the Internet, email, and phones are now essential parts of social contact as well as business; and their complexity, and reach are expanding continually.

In addition to the many types of people using social media, there are many types of social media to use, all of which can have ramifications good and bad in the workplace. Some of the major social media sites and networks are as follows: LinkedIn is a social and networking site geared for professionals that was created in 2003 to provide professional people with access to networking, marketing, advertising, and job search opportunities. Any person can search for another person’s online profile; and no password is required to conduct a search. The site can also provide specific employment opportunities; and employers can examine an individual’s job prospects. The site has more than 70 million users globally from more than 200 countries, according to the data records. Social media has completely transformed the life of many, many people. In particular, social media has materially changed the way in which people communicate. Social media affords people readily and easily usable ways to stay in touch with family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers, including the ability to rapidly share information and commentary. Business today is also taking advantage of social media for marketing, management, and human resource purposes. Furthermore, the conception of the “workplace” has been broadened with the advent of technology and especially the existence of “telecommuting.” “The increase in work outside the office has further blurred the boundary between work and home, public and private Social media, therefore, is being widely used in business and professional as well as personal settings.” (Cavico, et al., 2013). The arrival of Internet, protecting privacy in the employer client bond has become a gradually challenging effort. “The popularity of social networking and microblogging sites such as Facebook and Twitter has increased the amount of personal information people share online, while search engines like Google enable people to find practically anything they might be looking for in seconds. Unfortunately, it is also easier than ever for social work students and practitioners to blur the boundaries between personal and professional relationships online.” (Voshel & Wesala, 2015).

Social media ethics for a working professional in the IT sector is a challenging topic, because there are so many ethical and compliance issues. Some of that issues include breach of confidentiality, conflicts of interest, misuse of company resources. It can really touch on so many levels of the company’s operations, its leadership needs to address social media in context to its overall business operations. Social media cannot be addressed successfully as a standalone matter. A company that is lacking an initiative to effectively identify, access and manage its approach to social media, and its tools, will not only lose the many opportunities social media provides, but will face many risks that will most likely damage the business. “Time Theft is defined as time that employees waste or spend not working during their scheduled work hours. This behavior is unethical as employees are compensated for this time even though they are not producing for employers. Thus they are intentionally stealing time rightfully belonging to their company.” (Hancock, 2016). The new trends of time theft with an emphasis on social media and online shopping are emerging in the workforce. The study also examines if these new trends possibly could have a negative impact on individual and firm productivity. The results suggest that social media and online shopping are indeed emerging as new platforms for time theft. The study displayed social media may be more worrisome due to having a greater amount of users and a higher usage among the respondents. With every respondent who had social media also having access to an app on their phone, personal device usage might be an important topic for companies Online Social Networks use has seen significant growth in recent years. Facebook especially has grown so much it is number one among Online Social Networks. As the number of Facebook and another Online Social Network users continues to rise, so too will the amount of personal information employees and job applicants or current employees, “particularly young ones, who “employment” results in numerous examples of job applicants or current employees, particularly young ones, who have been denied or lost a job because of personal information posted on an Online Social Networks site such as Facebook or MySpace.” (Kaupins & Park, 2010). Moreover, the number of employers who research applicants and employees on the Internet is also on the rise. A recent survey indicates that 75% of U.S. recruiters and human resource professionals research job applicants on the Internet, including social networking sites. A large majority of those surveyed have rejected applicants because of information they have discovered online.Social media clearly has become a prevalent and powerful communications and information-sharing medium that has fundamentally changed the way people communicate and interact. People, personally, and as employees as well as employers, use social media today at home, while travelling, and in the workplace. There are, plainly, legal, ethical, and practical implications for employers and employees regarding the use of social media in employment. Employees do not need to fear for using social media, but they do need to understand it, and make a place for it in their ethical awareness. Balancing the legitimate interests of employers and employees and job applicants, as well as drawing the proper ethical boundary between moral and immoral conduct regarding social media use is a very difficult undertaking indeed.

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