Don't we realise our lives are now "virtual realities''?

posted 8 Feb 2011, 19:31 by Jess Maher   [ updated 9 Mar 2011, 00:34 ]

Social Media has become largely accepted to be in some ways integrated our daily lives on the one hand, but then on the other- a seperation or distinction between the two still largely appears to exsist in some strikingly obvious ways... 

The very recent Employment Relations drama to hit the traditional media streams also with the help of Unite Union was that involving a Dunedin Burger King employee, Juile Tyler. This kind of issue is not something that just appeared overnight. 

In face, we at least, have been anticipating and expecting to occur for sometime now to be honest..  
From the New Zealand Herald article, 

The company held a private disciplinary meeting yesterday over the message posted by Julie Tyler, 27, which was brought to her manager's attention by another employee. At the meeting her employers decided that rather than being sacked, she would be given a second final warning.  

Ms Tyler was already on her final warning after receiving two previous complaints, including one for telling an abusive customer, "Like you need it".  Ms Tyler told the Otago Daily Times she was relieved to keep her job and stood by her comments saying it was about "freedom of speech". 

Unite national director Mike Treen said the matter was an important public policy matter.  "Young workers communicate via Facebook today as others in the past exchanged words about their jobs socially over a drink. In any case the comment is innocuous and simply repeats what every New Zealanders know about fast-food jobs," he said.

In this particular case, particularly with an industry that has such strong Union involvement, the debate revolves around the nature of what was said on Facebook, rather than the fact that it was an online medium that the comment was said in... 

NZ Herald from Feb 2010

A new survey of 520 New Zealand companies has found that 67 per cent have no policies in place to regulate staff use of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

It comes as a leading employer group says more businesses are having increasing problems with workers using social networking sites to badmouth their bosses.;objectid=10625739

And despite some seeming surprised or in some way appear to experience a sense of injustice it appears the majority of the mainstream media at least have publically recognized this integration and cross over since this time last year if not before.. 

Some valuable and wise advice could be found even before then, in 2009 this quote was published by the Guardian: 

"In fact, most of the problems have nothing to do with new media, but are simply because people tend to forget their manners online. As behaviour is very important in public and we all live public lives now, etiquette is making a comeback. Don't forget that these days camera phones and Twitterers are everywhere, so each of us can become a representative of our company wherever we go." 

In 2009, 84% of companies did not measure social media ROI: in 2011, that’s not an option. Business decisions are best made when they are based on hard numbers that measure success, and social media efforts are no longer an exception. (Erica Swallow)