Sunday, May 26, 2013

Social Media and Public Employees - Part 2

Internet Availability 

Growth in the use of the internet is an international trend. The International Telecommunication Union (2010) reports that 71% of the population in developed countries are online. In the United States digital cellular technology is a primary access method for the internet. The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (2011) reported that there are 95 million digital handsets (aka “smartphones”) with wireless broadband access in the United States and that 98% of the United States population is covered by wireless broadband. Access to social media and the internet is no longer based on your physical proximity to an access point. Each of us may carry the internet access with us, on our smartphone, ready to share pictures, comments and videos on a moment’s notice.

Adoption of Social Media

Social media is utilized by almost 80% of internet users (Nielsen 2011). Facebook (2012) statistics show a subscriber base of 845 million users with 483 million active on a daily basis. Citizens increasingly turn to social media to communicate and manage all aspects their lives, including their work environment. Professional adoption of social media platforms is on the increase as well. Papandrea (2012) reports that secondary schools in our public education system are turning to social media as a convenient method for group projects, peer communication and overcoming communication issues with shy students. Teachers also use social media to meet professional needs to connect with other teachers and collaborate on efforts.

Next Part - First Amendment & Employee Discipline 

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