Dangers of Social Media in the Workplace

Should employers be allowed to assess current and/or prospective employees based on their social media sites? Why or why not?

Employers should be allowed to assess current or prospective employees based on their social media sites. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer a lot of insight into a person’s life. As stated in Dangers of Social Media in the Workplace (2010), a job interview is a time for a potential employee to show their best qualities, but an employer gets a better snapshot of a person from their social media. Companies now more than ever are concerned with their public image and a poor image shown by an employee would negatively impact the employer. Social media and the connectivity it has brought to society can have consequences. Behaviors like heavy drinking and drug use would go against the image and values of a company who represented themselves as wholesome or family oriented. Complaining about work or distributing protected company information are all potential negative indicators to employers (Korgen, K., Korgen, J., & Giraffe, 2015).

Describe at least three different examples of how a current employee’s social media use could jeopardize their job and professionalism in the workplace.

While transitioning out of the military, I went through my social media page and realized I had a lot of potentially damaging photographs. I had a profile picture of my twenty-first birthday depicting me drinking heavily, and I knew that wasn’t the image I wanted to project to potential employers. I ended up taking pictures, posts, and friends off my Facebook page to avoid sending the wrong message to potential employers. I also see a lot of politically centered material on social media which could lead employers to disregard or fire people if they view their beliefs to be too radical one way or the other or their political views do not align with the company. Sometimes it is the little things that can have a big impact on social media. While in the service I would only share pictures of myself in uniform with my family with the explicit promise that they would not share them on any social media platform or with their friends that I did not know personally. At the time, pictures were being pulled off of social media sites and posted to pages with the intent to ridicule or defame military member and even pages solely dedicated to disparaging female military members. I did not want my professional integrity to be compromised even though my family thought I was being a bit extreme.


Korgen, K. O., Korgen, J. O., & Giraffe, V. (2015). Social issues in the workplace (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

Lantern OSU. (2010, April 4). Dangers of social media in the workplace [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuaZ58dE7WI