When Linda Trottman’s husband landed a promotion at his company, a co-worker congratulated her on it a few days later. Trottman says she hadn’t even realized her colleague monitored her husband’s profile on LinkedIn, a professional-networking site, where he had posted his new title. “It hit me that he was targeting my husband’s previous position,” she said.
We keep tabs on our favorite celebrities on Twitter. We check what are friends are up to on Facebook. We scope out potential dates on Match.com. And now our new habit of cyber-spying has permeated the workplace.
As social media explodes and information comes to us in the palm of our hand, we can’t resist using what we glean from the Web to gain a leg up in business. We now have the ability to go online to see who got the job we wanted, whether a co-worker spent the weekend golfing with the boss or what new marketing gimmick our competitor might be offering.
“People should be aware of what’s happening in their companies and their industries,” said Vanessa McGovern, an independent LinkedIn Strategist/Business Consultant. “It makes good business sense
Today, more people share information about their lives through status updates, location check-ins and résumé changes. Overall, more than 66 percent of Internet users participate on social networking sites as of February 2012, up from 46 percent in 2009.