In the current era of digital technology, the government has a duty of ensuring that the department of defense policy on social media addresses the use of invented technologies of communication within and outside the workplace by the public service and the military.
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The main challenge is to discover the policy that can fit into the organization’s culture for the public servants as well as the military in order to enjoy the benefits of social media. Social media in the public sector requires a new approach in solving issues of information management, security, privacy and policies of official language as well as the legislative frameworks. The government should therefore lead by example to ensure that the public servants adhere to the new policies formulated in reference to the use of the social media.
Due to the current mode of sharing information, the pace of social networking has changed compared to the era when technology had not improved. The technological services such as Facebook, instant messaging, twitter and blogs as well as LinkedIn have facilitated faster exchange of information. This has brought many challenges to the government in relation to privacy, security, management of the information and the law.
The research was conducted to determine the impact of the social media on the military forces as well as the views of public servants working in different departments. This is in relation to the legislative policy and the impacts that are aroused due to the emergence of the new tools of social media used by the public organizations. Before the invention of the new technology, many issues were kept as a secret because of issues related to privacy, security as well as the law of the government.
Social media has become a new channel for easy delivery of information. In any working environment, the management should monitor the behaviors and practices of sharing information in relation to the social media. Due to the use of social media by the employees, there are issues that emerge in terms of the ethics, security and the official language. The increased numbers of new and young employees in the public sector who are conversant with the new tools of social media have created new environment (Lanham, 2010).
Individual and organizations have varied ideas on what should be contained in the use of social media in public organizations for it to be appropriate. All behaviors associated with the social media in the workplace are always connected to the culture of the organization. The needs of social media should therefore be addressed in relation to the policies and culture of the organization (Belanger & Janine, 2006).
Sharing of information through the available tools of social media can help the government cut down the costs and facilitate interaction among the citizens. For instance, the federal government used the web to consult citizens on matters of eliminating the cases of driving while drunk. The use of blogs and face-to-face online services has enabled many countries to resolve issues related to health and administration (Bélanger & Carter, 2008).
To accommodate the new employees who are versatile with the change of technology the government should consider changing the culture. As much as the government tends to be slow in its operations, the social media keeps on changing at a very high rate by improving its tools of communication.
This has been a pressure to the government since it cannot escape the changes as long as it is absorbing thousands of professionals from the current generation where social media is part of them. The government should therefore create a strong culture that survives even in other areas apart from the business context. The governments that are used to the formal communication may find it hard to adjust to the informal communication especially in re-editing slide show presentations (Belanger & Janine, 2006).
The issue of information management, security and privacy had been a concern even before the emergence of the new technology and so the government is required to make interpretations in relation to the new context. The urge to share new information is not a new phenomenon among individuals.
For example, during the Second World War, the public servants who were in operation were not supposed to share their experiences with other people but this was impossible since it was later discovered that they had violated the law (Boulos & Wheeler, 2007).
The research was conducted through interviews, research questionnaire and direct conversation. The methods used therefore examined the effectiveness of the government policies and legislation on issues of privacy, management of information, use of official language and security.
During the interviews, the interviewees were also asked about how to curb the risks associated with the use of social media. People from the private and public sector as well as academic employees were requested to provide data for analysis. The participants were adults aged 20-65 years.
Records retention and information management
During the research, the participants tackled the issue on how much information should be retained after online conversation. The analysis shows that in the use of informal forms of communication the information can be recorded easily for proper management. Agreement should be arrived at on how much information can be recorded as well as the viable strategy to determine the kind of the social media information to be recorded. There is inappropriate use and statistical data due to lack of transparency where there is no plan on how the available funds will be used (Boulos & Wheeler, 2007).
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Due to the emergence of new tools of social media in the field of communication, privacy is no longer in practice. Through the discussions held it was discovered that it is impossible to maintain privacy especially in the era of modern technology where the social media uses tools like Facebook where there is a pool of individual sharing information across the country. The military officers therefore share confidential information with the public and this might be insecure to the country (Davison, Louis & Wagner, 2005).
Security failures exist in the field of social media because hackers can easily highjack the necessary information and use it against the government. The analysis of the discussions shows that security should remain paramount since it is important to the government and the citizens.
This does not hinder the use of social media in the military forces because they use the devices to communicate with their families. The government is therefore supposed to formulate policies governing the communication process in relation to its culture (Lanham, 2010).
A culture trust
Through the analysis conducted, it was discovered that the government should create a culture of trust in the military forces for it to benefit from the services of social media. A change in culture will create an environment suitable for the military officers to share ideas freely.
This can be done through discussions within the agreed structures of the organization. Through mutual sharing of information between the military forces and the public, the military officers will benefit from the tools of social media by interacting freely with their families and friends (Brown & Tammi, 2009).
Every individual is entitled to access information for the government to benefit. Information is the only tool that promotes innovation and creativity among individuals. This is because once the new information is received the person gains new insights, which help in creating new ideas that are beneficial to the society (Davison, Louis & Wagner, 2005).
Making information accessible
When information is availed to individuals, a sense of accountability is created since people become more creative and innovative. For instance, when the government posts information on the web on matters related to health issues the citizens are likely to benefit as well as share ideas with the government on areas to improve.
Through the research conducted, it was therefore noticed that this could be applicable when there is privacy guaranteed in the social media. It was noted that the social media has made people to perceive the information issued differently due to lack of confidence in the social media tools (Boulos & Wheeler, 2007).
In managing social media risks, it was discovered that the government has to change its organizational culture to be able to mingle with the social media. The analysis shows that the military officers should be trained on what to present on the social media to avoid causing public alarm.
Strong measures should be put in place to instill discipline on the military officers on matters related to risk management. The government has therefore to identify champions who are willing to test the tools and give feedback on their viability (Bélanger & Carter, 2008).
It was noted that to curb some of the risks in social media the government should carry out reviews by analyzing the proposed social media to be implemented.This is done by determining the cost and benefits to be derived, how secure they are and how information is managed and consider any other important aspect before implementing it.
The goals of the social media should be marked out clearly for employees to be aware of when to use the social media for sharing information for the benefit of the organization as well as the employee as an individual. The research shows that the government should create tools, which can be used to assess the success in investing in the social media and formulate policy frameworks, which can be altered to fit into the changing trends of the social media (Davison, Louis & Wagner, 2005).
Government and stakeholders should join hands in ensuring that those in leadership are accountable by ensuring that all public organizations are able to achieve all the benefits associated with social media.
The Government and stakeholders need to ensure that there are consistent guidelines on the application of social media by all public servants. It should also create sustainable solutions in managing security; privacy and the use of official language as well develop tools for assessing the public organizations’ practices in relation to costs and benefits associated with social media.
The government should collaborate with the social media to utilize the opportunities available by helping the military forces use the social media in a responsible manner. As much as there are challenges associated with the social media such as privacy, information management and security, the government needs to accommodate the changes as well as formulate new policies to govern the practices of using social media by the military forces.
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Boulos, N. & Wheeler, S. (2007). The emerging Web 2.0 social software: an enabling suite of sociable technologies in health and health care education. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 24(1): 2-23.
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Davison, R., Louis, C. & Wagner, C. (2005). From government to e-government: a transition model. Information Technology & People, 18(3): 280-299.
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