Social Media & Gen Z: Online Communications Challenge Work Etiquette

Improvements in Internet capabilities the availability of mobile devices moved the world to whole new levels of efficiencies and has helped to connect people across the globe.

It’s not only changed the way we work and play for the better but as Gen Z becomes the largest population in the workforce, modern technology will also become the “norm”.

This generation has had these innovations at their disposal since they were children. It’s made them more connected to devices and they can more easily turn to tech than any users before them to complete tasks. The result is much of what we’re already seeing today… ordering food from the drive-thru before we even get there, having face-to-face video chats with family or a client located oceans away.

One thing that’s also changed as a result is workplace etiquette.

Things like dressing appropriately, sticking to professional conversations and not bringing personal matters to the office are a given. But with a highly connected and available online world, and the prominence of social networks, it’s harder today to keep some of this outside of the professional world the more these networks merge for all to see.

Businesses themselves are moving marketing and communications into the social realm so the lines will only continue to blur.

If you’re out there looking for a job, or hope to make a career move in the near future, it’s important to pay close attention to your online “persona” and remember that whatever is put out there, stays out there.

Here are 5 tips for getting your online etiquette in line.

1. All Social Media Networks Should be Handled with the Same Care

Depending on the task or desired outcome, social media networks serve various purposes. Twitter is usually where people resort to for up-to-the-minute news updates while Facebook shares more in-depth news and opinions and Instagram and SnapChat help with brand awareness.

Whichever site you have an account with, it’s safe to say employers and your professional career will cross paths with the content so treat them all the same and proceed with caution. Don’t post or share things out of character or that you wouldn’t want to be seen by the public eye.

2. Maintain Privacy Settings But Proceed with Caution

In a world of over-sharing and online accessibility, it’s important to stay on top of security and privacy settings. You may be able to limit the audiences that view your posts or what you’re sharing, and you certainly should, but do so with the understanding that anything that’s posted online could eventually make it to a larger audience.

3. Use social to influence and add value to public conversations

Social media isn’t all bad. These platforms are leading the charge for changing the worldview on so many topics and uniting forces for the greater good of humanity. If you’re going to be active on social media, make your voice count and contribute only to those conversations where you can add value or have influence.

4. Keep Professionalism in Comments

It’s not just about the pictures you share and statuses you post. You should also be careful how you’re interacting with others in the comments sections as these can easily be discovered. Keep the same level of professionalism you practice when posting to your own page in any places where you’re involved in public discourse.

5. Remember What Happens on the Internet Stays Forever!

This is perhaps one of the most important tips for anyone who is navigating the online world of social media: Nothing on the Internet goes away. It stays forever. You might think a simple delete of a post is enough to make it go away but everything that’s been said or done can be easily captured by the public with a screen grab or exists on a server somewhere.

If you want your career and future to be free of these types of questionable moments, just remember your online etiquette should be the same as your demeanor in office.

DataCheck’s pre-employment background screening ensures your employees are not a part of any online activity that could pose an issue for your company’s reputation. We provide a comprehensive search of the major social media platforms and help you to gain insight on a potential candidate’s online behavior and the appropriateness they display in these interactions based on your company’s basic code of conduct and values.

Get in touch today.