Electronic Media
“There are three sides to every online interaction. Yours, mine, and the view of

everyone watching us. Act carefully.” Mack Collier
The use of electronic media is expanding so rapidly new starters often do not realise its importance to the

work situation.

Starting with your application for work, where an HR recruiter may have checked you out on Facebook or other platforms. Be aware that you and your reputation are on display to the world when you are online.

For example, while you may have a hilarious personal email address, this might not go down so well with your professional image and reputation.

Take precautions. Do not put anything on Facebook that you would not want your employer to see. This includes everything!

“Your online reputation is the most valuable currency in today’s world” so says Andrea Weckerle, founder of CiviliNation, and author of “Civility in a the Digital Age” so take care.

Don’t spend time at work searching the workplace Internet for personal interest items.


Reputation is Power

Your reputation determines whether a bank will lend you money to buy a car or a house, whether you will have a roof over your head as a tenant, whether you can get a job.

Online reputation tools are getting more powerful. Background checks are everywhere.

The sinister thing is that you may not even know that a background check has been done and perhaps come back negative, excluding you from an opportunity.

Large corporations are now using systems that are scoring you on the basis of your online reputation. Reputation is permanent, cheap and ubiquitous.

Facebook stores every bit of information recorded. It’s far easier to add than delete information. Every DAY Facebook stores 50 times the amount of data in the Library of Congress’s print collection!

The US Library of Congress is storing every single public tweet, regardless of content.
Some experts believe that Facebook does not actually delete photos from its servers, even if the user hits the

“Delete Photo” button.

You should assume that every bit of online data that you have created is stored in at least one location. Every review, every ATM transaction, every email, tweet, blog etc. etc. is being stored somewhere.

Obviously any blemish on your online reputation will live longer than you!
How to keep your personal life personal? Michael Firtek, an IT guru, advises you to make your personal

and Facebook feeds hard to find.

Lock your personal thoughts away from public view and create separate public personas that are not objectionable. Some Facebook users are renaming their personal profile to a variant of their name that friends will recognise but computers will not. MCHL FRTEK for example, and locking this profile to friends only. Others create duplicate accounts, one public, and one private, or creating false trails under their full name.

Likewise don’t assume those apps like SNAPCHAT who profess to automatically delete after the recipient sees them. Other apps like Tigertext can be set to automatically and permanently delete texts. Be safe. Treat them all with caution.

On Linkedin, algorithms that create phrases like “somebody you might know” are putting together your profile – a comprehensive picture of the type of person you are.

Some applications are now requiring Facebook to prove you exist. (Air Bnb assumes that if you don’t have Facebook account, you are a scammer.

Most of Worklife will be about the protection of reputation. If you want to know more about improving your online reputation, then you may want to read
“The Reputation Economy” by Michael Firtek.


You will probably be given an email address as part of your induction. Keep in mind that this is
not your personal email, and that the employer has ownership and access to this email account at all times. So it’s a very good idea to keep your company email address separate from all personal communication. Don’t give out your company email address to friends and don’t link your personal email to your company email account.

Companies regularly scan emails. It is not unusual for employees to be dismissed for improper email usage. This can be as simple as improper language or just passing on images from third parties.

If you have to access emails during the workday, then limit it to your breaks, and only on your phone. Resist the temptation to respond to texts and emails while you are at work.

Email protocols

Some companies have style guidelines for all company communications, that inform what an email should look like, what is permissible, what greetings should be used, etc.

Many small companies leave it to the user. Here are some general guidelines for emails sent from company computers:

• You may be required to copy your supervisor on EVERY email you send. Check with your supervisor on whether he wants to see all your emails
• Your name and job title must be on every email you send
• Use only lower case

• No spelling mistakes
• Try to keep to one subject per email
• Do not be abusive in emails, be polite and tactful
• Do not make any promises or commitments in emails that are beyond your authority levels
• Don’t broadcast emails any further than they need to be
• Every email must have a title and the content brief and to the point
• The title should help the receiver decide whether to open it or not. For example “read this” is not useful as a title, but “important information from the manager about sales” is a meaningful title

Golden Rules

• Do not hit send until you have read the email and the addresses that at least twice. Then, • Do not hit send until you checked the email recipients are correct
• Now hit send
• Make email titles as meaningful as possible

• Never, ever, send an email when you are angry. You will regret it. Instead, take a break, or move onto another task until you have calmed down.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

These applications have the potential to ruin your reputation and get you fired. The best advice I have seen on the issue of social media is:

“When you post anything on social media, always assume it will be made public. Ask

yourself, would I be OK with the Boss seeing this?”

Here are some examples where people didn’t take that advice. The Courier Mail reported on 19th December 2015;

“After a long day at work keeping face and kissing butt, it can be a great relief to get home, turn off the proverbial filter and relax.”

But in the age of social media, public and private time is blurred. A questionable tweet, post or comment while sitting on your couch at night can cost you your job - whether it’s about work or not.

That was the experience this year of one man who publicly shared a screen shot of a woman’s Tinder profile with a snide remark.

After the post attracted nasty and threatening comments towards the woman, it went viral with the hash tag “sexual violence won’t be silenced” and ended with the man being fired.

The content was not related to any workplace, employer or company and was posted outside of work hours. But that didn’t matter. The man was sacked for bringing the company’s name into disrepute whether it was realised or not.”

Pretty tough eh? That’s today’s electronic world for you.

It could cost you a job. Facebook is not private. Employers and - more importantly - potential employers are getting good at checking your online activities. Oh! and if you think it is safe to simply clean up your profile before you start job hunting, think again. There are archiving websites that make searchable copies of websites and then store the copies forever.

Privacy. “Good Privacy” is not really a term associated with social networking, especially with a giant like Facebook that is considered to be the backbone of social networking.
Be careful about what you post as a status update or on another person’s wall. Regularly check your privacy settings to see what information is available. Applications and other users can take advantage of you if you are not cautious enough.

Social media is addictive. There are tons of applications available online, Facebook is one of the most addictive sites on the Internet. People get hooked on applications and games like Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc. Many schools report that the average grade of students has gone down and the main cause is social networking sites. People may end up losing jobs if they are caught socializing during work hours, when they should have been working.

Social media is full of unwanted information. You would like to keep your Facebook use to a minimum but your friends are constantly sending you requests to join them in social games, or sharing information that is really better kept a secret. There are options to hide or block applications or users, but new applications are always popping up to take their place.

Social media has a huge impact on your personal life and career: people add their colleagues, family and friends to their friends’ list. If you make a negative comment about anyone, it is extremely easy to find. This can be especially detrimental at your workplace.

Don’t think about telling friends you’re looking for a new job or complaining about your boss when you have them as a Facebook friend!

Depending on your job, you may also be in trouble if a friend posts pictures of you with a drink in your hand or at a party. If you work with young children or in certain professional roles, this could be grounds for dismissal.

Social media follows you. Facebook Places is the last straw of your privacy. It lets your friends know where you are and what you are doing. What’s more, you will be spammed by others’ updates too, on their whereabouts. This can be very disturbing.
So if you want to have your coffee in peace, make sure that your Facebook privacy settings are safe from a work perspective.
Social media gets you involved in scams. With so much of your private information available in your

Facebook account, it’s easy for scam artists and hackers to use this information to target your other accounts - such as email, banking, and PayPal.

Virus attacks are enabled by social media. No matter how secure a website is, hackers always find a way around so they can try to spread worms and viruses via the website. Since news spreads very fast on Facebook, a click on an unknown link is all that is needed to spread the virus to your friends, their friends and so on. It is always good to be careful before clicking links and following them.

Trouble deleting your Facebook account? Until 2007 Facebook never completely deleted a user’s information even when they deleted their account. It was more like suspending an account, which meant that anyone could get their account and all the information back anytime if they decided to join Facebook again.

In 2008, Facebook introduced an option to permanently delete the account. Even today, one has to be sure not to just deactivate their account but also check other preferences to make sure that your account is completely deleted. In 2009, Facebook was the most visited site on the Internet. People spend a lot of time interacting with others and checking on what other people are doing, and you can forget to take care of yourself. Prolonged time online can lead to various health issues like headaches, backaches, eye strain and a long list of other maladies.

Protect yourself by using proper privacy settings, and don’t use the same Facebook password that you use for other online accounts. There are real gifts, real games, and real people out there. Interact with them in real life and use Facebook as a tool to keep in touch with people, but not the only means of doing so.

Some other examples of social media coming back to bite you: The Courier Mail again:

“Hotel manager Michael Nolan lost his job after calling feminist commentator Clementine Ford a “sl**” on Facebook.

Ford shared a screenshot of their interaction with her 80,000 Facebook followers and tagged Nolan’s employer in the post.”

Another case:

“SBS sports reporter Scott McIntyre received a public backlash after denouncing the Anzacs via twitter on Anzac Day.

He was sacked by the broadcaster, which cited a breach of its code of conduct and social media policy. Scott has begun an unfair dismissal claim.”

And another case of not being careful.

“An Adelaide councillor put her career at risk after sharing an anti-Islam post on Facebook.

Betty Gill said it was an innocent mistake – she had intended to share a Christmas message but selected the wrong post in her feed.”

You have been warned. Social media has a lot of traps to prevent you being “Excellent at work”.