Gen Y will continue to share personal information on social media sites despite security risks, the persistent objections of employers and the repeated warnings of recruiters, according to a newly released study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center.
Sixty-seven percent of the 895 technology stakeholders and critics who participated say the communications patterns of these "digital natives" have become ingrained and will carry forward, even as Millennials age, form families and move up the economic ladder. Only 29 percent believe they'll find new interests and commitments while their enthusiasm for information sharing will abate.
"The experts also expressed hope that society will be more forgiving of those whose youthful mistakes are on display in social media such as Facebook picture albums or YouTube videos," wrote Janna Quitney Anderson and Lee Rainie in an article summarizing the survey on the Pew Research Web site.
Maybe that'll happen down the road. In the meantime, did you hear about the CNN editor who was fired for a controversial Tweet? And many companies still prohibit employees from visiting social networking sites during work, while others check out candidates online before extending offers. Gen Y may be changing the workplace, but unless you can afford to lose your job and be out of work for awhile, it's still a good idea to keep your opinions to yourself and avoid sharing videos of your Saturday night activities.
Should employers care about the social networking activities of employees? Do the current policies prohibit free speech? Share your thoughts.
-- Leslie Stevens-Huffman