Mixing Social Media and The Workplace

One of the more hotly debated topics of social media is how it can fit into your everyday work environment. More importantly, when is it ethical to spend time on social media during the work day and whether someone should be allowed to talk about their job on their personal profiles. I have a very unique situation because my home is my workplace and I don’t have set hours that I work. Because I am a social media manager and personal assistant, most of the work that I do is a very “handle as it comes in” situation. In this case, it’s difficult to separate social media work from going on my personal profile.

My boss is OK with the fact that I put the company name and my job position in my biography on Facebook. I know that I am not allowed to reveal confidential information regarding my job and to be honest, I hardly ever talk about my job on social media. I might share a post from the company page on my personal profile, but that’s the extent of me discussing my job on social media. The only situations where I think it might not be a good idea to mention your job on your biography is if you’re a journalist or you work for a secret government agency. I spoke last week about whether it’s OK to hide your profession as a journalist if you’re trying to get a source to speak with you. I still don’t think that’s OK, but not openly disclosing your profession in your biography might help you separate your personal life from your professional life. It could also help you keep your job longer because your company might not get wind of you speaking badly about your job.

In lecture we spoke about Oracle’s social media policy, which states that “personal social media activities must not interfere with your work or productivity at Oracle.” I understand Oracle’s desire to stay safe in case an employee inadvertently says something they aren’t supposed to say. And I also understand the need for the employee to stay focused on their job rather than being distracted by social media during work. But I’d like to know the consequences if someone does get caught on social media during the work day. Would that person be fired or reprimanded? To me, that would be too harsh for someone who was bored for five minutes at work and had nothing more important to do. Work should be top priority, but I think people should be allowed a few minutes to take a breath and peruse social media if they want.



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