It is true that it is no longer possible to live a day without logging into at least one online social networking site. Not when we are carrying the internet around with us in our pockets. It is just plain common sense to check on what others are doing when you are waiting at a queue at your favorite donut stand or stuck in traffic.
While many people just use online social networking sites to check out other people’s statuses, load shared links, uploaded pictures and videos, there are a whole different bunch of people who actively use online media…perhaps a little too actively. While we keep tabs on our favorite sports people or celebrities on Twitter and Facebook, can employers use the very same tool to check on their employees? Is it legal or is it even ethical to begin with considering the fact that our professional and private lives are meant to exist on a completely different planes?
With online social media’s sudden explosion, we can now check up on our colleague to see if he really IS sick like he said he was and not golfing with his friends. We can also go online on Twitter to find out if our friend got the promotion that she said was getting. The world has become a (sometimes painfully) very small place in the online universe.
According to a business consultant with LinkedIn, knowing what is happening to the people and other businesses in their respective industries is a must these days and it just makes good business sense to be aware of these happenings. In a survey done in February 2012, it was found that of those interviewed, more than sixty six percent of them said that they participated on online social networking sites actively, noting a sharp rise when compared to a similar study done in 2009.
People who actively used online social networking sites to their advantage are people who subtly take notes of their clients’ preferences in their choices of malls and restaurants and then used that information to invite a potential client out to those spots. One good example is this:- noting that your potential customer likes red and sending him or her a gift in that color. Or perhaps, you could have also noticed that your boss likes soccer and sending him tickets to a game.
So, at the end of the day, it is hard to say what is wrong with cyber spying and what is right. It is a remarkable tool that creates opportunities and can be used as a form of ‘research tool’. Now, if you called cyber spying ‘research’, it would sound a whole lot more decent, doesn’t it?
What’s your take on this?
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