We’re about a third of the way done with our 9-question survey on social media at work, and the preliminary results are both fascinating and disturbing.
For example, 17 percent of our anonymous respondents so far told us they are required to use their personal social media accounts to post about work and their company. (A further 27 percent are not required but are strongly encouraged to do so.)
For these folks, the line between personal and private online lives has blurred to invisibility. As one of these respondents noted, “I have to be very careful about everything I say to my friends as I conduct business activities over the same accounts. My Facebook has become a more interactive version of my LinkedIn profile, with only the blandest conversations with my friends.
“My friends don’t understand why I am reluctant to use this channel to talk, and it’s hard to get them to sign in to Skype every time I want to chat.”
Another employee told us, “I feel the personal and work identities have largely blurred in the past several years. That being said, I am moderately concerned about privacy, security, and surveillance.”
But not everyone’s overly concerned about how their private accounts and data are being handled. As a third respondent said, “It’s good to have a transparent life, provided nobody uses the data from these social networks to pester people for buying their services or products.”
(Unfortunately, that’s precisely what the data is used for in the most innocuous cases.)
For this minority group, the most-required network for company use is Facebook, followed by Twitter.
These respondents are also — surprise, surprise — more likely to feel their privacy is being violated by their employers.
Here’s a snapshot of the data we’ve collected so far; please add your voice to the discussion.