Social media are new, and their value is not entirely clear, especially to businesses that are doing just fine as they are, thank you very much. Heck, it's even possible that blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Web 2.0 and social networking services will turn out to be passing fads, in which case, maybe companies that ignore them will have the last laugh on the matter. I don't know about that, but I will say this: the generation that grew up on the Internet and began to enter the labour market over the last decade is unlikely to want to shift to a way of doing things that doesn't involve the Internet and its associated applications and gadgets. And their childrenwell, who can say how connected they'll be. It would take an extremely authoritarian approach to return to the workplace of our parents, and likely an approach that looks backward rather than ahead. But enough of prediction, let's talk about some interesting stuff!
With this whole text-messaging explosion, a new epidemic called "textual harassment" has emerged. I recently read a couple of articles dealing with this new liability concern for employers: textual-sexual harassment. Of course this warning comes from the United States—according to a recent US Justice Department report to Congress, 23 percent of stalking or harassment is happening via text messages. The problem has become so large in the US that 46 states have anti-stalking laws that refer to electronic forms of communication. However... since US lawsuits that involve texting and harassing behaviours are increasing, Canadian employers should beware!