Department of Communication Studies
Below is a review of literature on the uprising topic of employers using social media sites to screen current or potential employees. Also included is a synopsis of the issue of privacy awareness along with the potential invasion of privacy. This literature is used for and reflects the purpose of a better understanding of the issue of privacy awareness and the invasion of privacy in organizations, particularly the workplace. RQ1: Are individuals completely aware of privacy issues associated with social networking sites when applying for a job? RQ2: Are employers potentially invading privacy when using social media sites to screen for employment? Social Media (Facebook)
In today’s society, social media has allowed us to connect with our family and friends as well as building relationships through acquaintances who share common interest. In doing so users are encouraged to provide the sites with a large extent of personal information including contact information, pictures, where we live or where we’re from and sometimes even our current location. In fact, 70 billion pieces of content are shared per month (Riedy &Wen, 2010). A result of sharing all of this can lead to an increase in spam or even more serious, web stalkers. Not to mention that criminals have the opportunity to access your social media website passwords by studying information on your post such as hobbies, daily activities, etc. Some post may be used as evidence of credibility and could sometimes possibly be incriminating (Genova, 2009) . Last but not least, network sites that contain provocative photos and comments may be looked at as unprofessional by employers. The things we post that we may think of as harmless material can sometimes be seen for years to come and could possibly be viewed by identity thieves or even your next boss. For various reasons, some people may not use an appropriate amount of caution. These reasons include the sense of anonymity provided by the internet or even a false sense of security provided by less physical interaction (Reidy & Wen, 2010).
This is such a relevant issue due to the increasing number of individuals who utilize social networking sites such as Facebook during some component of our everyday lives. “In early 2012, 56% of the U.S population reported to have ever used a social networking site” (Genova, 2009,p.13). 98% of these users are between the ages of 18-24, a prime time in an individual’s life to be on a job hunt. This is even more of the reason for the majority of face book users to be very particular and extra cautious of the material that they’re posting. This issue brings upon the next question. Are individuals completely aware of privacy issues associated with social networking sites when applying for a job? Privacy Awareness
The theoretical approach helps to provide an understanding of how individuals comply with the privacy concerns of social networking. Are users even aware that posting some information could consequent in privacy concern? The first approach looked at is the uses and gratification theory. This theory simply focuses on how individuals use social media to fill the need of entertainment, relationships and identity construction. It is then assumed that social networking sites such as face book do fulfill each of these gratifications, thus we tend to overlook the concern of privacy (Debatin, Lovejoy, Horne & Hughes, 2009). Next reviewed is the Third person affect approach. A perceptual hypothesis is formed when there is some controversy of what we assume about others and how we perceive our own selves. We are mostly interested in users’ perception (Debatin, Lovejoy, Horne & Hughes, 2009). How does the use of facebook affect their own privacy? Next, we look at the theory of ritualized media use. This is an approach of understanding how social media can easily become a routine in one’s life and...
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