Silently Stalking Employees
The internet has created many opportunities for people to start their own company, join organizations
they’ve always dreamt of, provide for themselves and/or their families. It has helped create thought
leaders and influencers. Started companies from the ground up. That small piece of freedom that one
has to get online and find friends or even lovers, scroll for hours to let off steam from a long day or
create something beautiful they’ve been dreaming of for so long.
But what happens when it’s not just a potential date or friend or business partner pushing that follow
button. Instead, it’s the person signing your checks, pretending to be someone they’re not.
Have you ever felt as though you’re being watched? Feeling as though someone’s eyes are slowing
following your every move. It doesn’t just happen IRL, it happens online too. The internet is so open to everyone and everything, we honestly never know when we are being followed or by whom. It can leave you feeling exposed, on guard, crippled with fear and even violated.
In a 2018, Business Daily News article, Saige Driver discusses findings from a recent survey around Social
Medias impact to the workplace, “According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70 percent of employers
use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43 percent of employers use
social media to check on current employees.” That’s interesting, “Check on current employees..” sounds like stalking, right?
In some aspects, we all know it’s happening. Employers are checking to make sure candidates and
employees aren’t exposing their company. But in the age with so much racial/gender/disability/political
turmoil, they are also checking to see how your views may differ from their own. With all of this social stalking, employers could be putting their employees and potential employees at risk just by secretly stalking employees.
Employers are not only controlling what a person does on the clock but also when they are off the clock. I understand the importance of protecting the company and brand. I also understand the option of not working “for the man” and becoming an entrepreneur something that is often thrown out as an option whenever someone complains being stalked by their employer. While it is a great option for many, it’s not available to all and quite frankly is not the answer to the problem of social stalking.
It’s gotten so bad that some companies create fake accounts just to follow employees. We are being
silenced for an employer’s peace-of-mind and sometimes, not even the employer’s peace-of-mind, but a rogue manager or supervisor (maybe even director) who is hellbent on trying finding something salacious or damning to use against you. Trolled by supervisors who aren’t big enough to have a sincere conversation.
Employees who are stalked online by the boss now feel uncomfortable to be themselves or even share for fear of some sort of retaliation or intimidation. That employee who was finally flourishing and coming into her own is now afraid that the job they fought so hard for could be taken away in an instance. What about that employee that uses their social media to generate income on the side who can no longer promote products and grow their side hustles because of an employer’s insecurity.
We all know some people feel that they can say and do anything on social media without consequence, we also see our world leaders use social media ineffectively to pick a fight, bully each other, and damn near start wars. But not all employees are on social media to act a fool. As mentioned above, some of us just use it to build brands and generate supplemental revenue.
Some of you will read this and think, “Hell, yeah, I watch my employees social media to make sure they are not putting us at risk.” Which is a wise policy, however, when you “Watch” your employees social media, you can best believe that you will find something that you don’t like, if it’s the type of beer they drink, to the music they listen to, or even the company they keep – the problem is that these corporate social media stalker judges can’t make proper judgments. People are so easily offended and many supervisors, managers, and directors seek to abuse their authority – not to mention those haters in the office that just want to start some shit.
Stop secretly spying and stalking on your people. Let them live. If they post something truly damaging, trust us, it will get back to you without all the snooping.