I usually am interviewed by the business press, but unusually I have appeared in the pages of the November issue of woman’s magazine Madison, in an article luridly titled: “This woman was sacked for having sex – Is your boss watching you right now?”
They quote me as follows:
Futurist and technology expert Ross Dawson says businesses banning social networking sites are not only stifling goodwill, they’re missing out on potential benefits. “When you are hired, your contacts are a drawcard. Many of our friends are people we meet through work. Some companies, like IBM, are even encouraging staff to get on Facebook to foster those networks.”
However Dawson warns we should be very cautious about what we post. “During the hiring process employers are routinely searching the net for anything you’ve done,” he says. “Personal blogs, what you got up to last night – all this is visible. And that’s where this grey area between personal and professional comes into play again. I don’t think a lot of young people, particulary teenagers who are naturally putting their lives online, would be presenting the best image for, say, an investment bank that wants to hire them in the future.” Many people are also unaware that a quick Google search may turn up something that they posted years before – their attitudes and lifestyle may have changed radically, yet they’ve left behind a permanent and highly accessible record for anyone who cares to see.