As people of all ages know, social media can be a fun and rewarding way to share your life and opinions with family and friends around the world. Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, and other sites have become increasingly popular over the years, particularly with the younger generation. However, use of social media also presents certain risks and carries with it certain responsibilities.
Safety is of utmost concern to parents, and unfortunately there are people with bad intentions out there who know how to exploit information found on social media sites. Many families choose to simply not permit their nanny to post anything work-related on social media, putting something very basic in their Employee Handbook or the Work Agreement like:
“Please respect our family’s privacy, and do not take any pictures of the children, our home, or anything related to our family and post on ANY social media site.”
For household employers who permit their nannies to include the family in social media interaction, it’s still advisable to have rules in place. One way to help protect a family’s personal information is to create a social media policy for nannies to ensure private information stays private. Please see the general guidelines below as a sample policy that household employers can implement to make sure you and your nanny are on the same page when it comes to social media use.
In the rapidly expanding world of electronic communication, social media can mean many things. Social media includes all means of communicating or posting information or content of any sort on the internet, including to your own or someone else’s blog or online journal, personal web site, social networking site, web bulletin board or a chat room, as well as any other form of electronic communication.
Ultimately, you are solely responsible for what you post online. Before doing so, consider some of the risks and rewards that are involved. Keep in mind that any of your conduct that adversely affects your job performance or otherwise adversely affects family members or their friends, may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Be Aware of Privacy
Posting something seemingly harmless like “Not looking forward to another 7am-4pm shift with the 2-year-old again” tells anyone who can see it when the child’s parents aren’t home and the age of the child. Taking a photo of the kids and tagging your location, such as “Having fun at Central Park” lets people see what the kids look like, your location, and implies that there is no one at the family’s home. Keeping your privacy options activated will ensure only your direct followers will be able to see it. You should also not post the names of any family members. Nicknames or initials may be acceptable. Never post the address of the family’s home.
Keep in mind that you are more likely to resolve work-related complaints by speaking directly with the family than by posting complaints to a social media outlet. Nevertheless, if you decide to post complaints or criticism, avoid using statements, photographs, video or audio that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating, that disparage family members, or that might constitute harassment or bullying. Remember that the internet archives almost everything; therefore, even deleted postings can be searched. Never post any information or rumors that you know to be false about the family or their friends.
All of the above issues should be discussed in detail between the family and the nanny, and then the rules agreed upon should be written down and have a signed approval. This will hopefully prevent any social media problems during the nanny’s tenure in your home.
For more information, please contact us at (518) 348-0400.